Gemma Atkinson opens up about her dad's sudden and unexpected death on 18th anniversary

Gemma Atkinson's father passed away when she was 17 years old

Gemma Atkinson has paid her father a beautiful tribute on the 18th anniversary of his sudden and unexpected death. Taking to Instagram, the mother-of-one shared four pictures from her childhood featuring her father David and opened up about how "horrendous" it was when he passed away from a heart attack when she was 17 years old.

"18 years ago today my dad passed away very suddenly & unexpectedly. It was horrendous and I used to look back and wonder how I coped," she began to explain.

"I've realised I got through it because when bad things happen that you can't control, you have 2 options. Option 1 is to be sad and angry and grieve as expected, then in your own time, process it and carry on. Option 2 is to be sad and angry and grieve as expected but never process it and never move on. My family chose the 1st option because although it's unfair at times, on the whole life is wonderful."

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She continued: "I guess that now and again bad things just happen to us. I also know it’s what my dad would have wanted, and being a mum myself I understand that even more. All I'll ever want for Mia is for her to know her inner strength is always there and when she’s faced with hard times she will struggle, but in time she’ll eventually learn to cope again and in her new circumstance feel strong again."

The former Emmerdale actress then went on to share some words of wisdom to those who have been affected directly by the coronavirus and who may have lost a loved one because of it.

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"I know in these times lots of you are losing loved ones so very quick & unfairly so I hope this post gives you all a slight glimmer of hope in knowing that although you don’t feel it right now, you will in time be OK again. Pick the 1st option. Honour those lost with happy memories and talk about them a lot, because despite the bad things that happen, on a whole, life can be still be wonderful if you allow it."

The 35-year-old ended her post by saying: "We miss you dad and we hope you're peaceful wherever you are PS. It's clear now where I get my moustache from!"

The post touched many of her fans' heart, but also her celebrity friends, including Fleur East, who lost her dad last month. The former I'm a Celebrity... contestant, wrote: "Thank you for this." Whilst Ruth Langsford, who lost tragically lost her sister last year, said: "Lovely photograph, wise words. Nothing can take your memories. Lots of love."

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