Emmerdale star Gemma Atkinson taking 'small steps' after saying goodbye to family member

Gemma and her beloved pet Norman
-Credit: (Image: @glouiseatkinson/Instagram)

Gemma Atkinson has written an emotional tribute to her beloved pet dog Norman, who passed away last weekend.

In her latest post to social media, the former Emmerdale star, who once played Carly Hope on the soap, discussed how grief was affecting her. This comes after the death of her pet dog. Norman, last weekend.

She described grief as a "funny old thing" which "hits you out of nowhere" sometimes. Gemma went on to say: "We all deal and cope with it differently, there’s no rule book. I didn’t train for over a week recently (which for me is a lot!) My head just wasn’t in it and I wanted to spend all my time with Norman.

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"It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions. I collected Norms ashes on Tues and straight afterwards collected Mia’s number 5 helium balloon and sweets for her birthday. It was a strange day."

She added that she often "copes far better with physical pain than emotional pain". She said: "My go to has always been distraction. My sister always used to joke that my pain threshold was ridiculous when we were giving each other dead legs in her room.

"She however is the strongest person I know when it comes to dealing with things emotionally."

Finally, Gemma said that "we all cope differently" and that after her first gym session, she felt "a little better" and was able to train again the day after. This showed how "beneficial" it was for her to exercise.

Gemma finished by saying: "I’ve always said my main reason for training is because it mentally keeps me on track and focused and puts me in a better place when it comes to everything else I need to do and be.

"I guess what I’m tying to say is, whatever it is you are dealing with and whoever it is you are missing, doing something for yourself in all the chaos will help. A walk, a run, meditation, yoga. I didn’t follow a program today, I just did whatever I felt like and although at the end Norman came back into my head, after my shower and food I felt really good.

"The endorphins kicked in and I drove to work singing in the car and did my radio show. Small steps to feeling like me again".

Fans flooded the comments soon after to share their sympathies with Gemma. @kirstyvk5 said: "we lost our boy in Feb, unexpected and not prepared for. I still expect him to be trotting around most days, but he isn't. It's such a strange feeling to explain."

@debbiegolds added: "My girl passed end of march, 15 glorious years with her, she was my constant companion, my baby, I'm hurting so much, broken xxxx".

Another fan, @cathteasdel, said: "So sorry to hear this about your lovely dog norm , just finished watching your last series of Gemma and gorka which had him on . Love to you all at this sad time . X".

@karina.clarkson wrote: "We lost our boy 15 and a half on Oct 3rd , worst evening ever but beautifully done at home with eternelpaws and lovely Anita . He was the largest part of our family and still today something triggers another memory and we are all in tears again. Our beach walks are the worst as everyone seems to have a dog".