Gemma Atkinson fights tears at daughter's letter after death as she navigates children's grief for first time

Gemma Atkinson with her daughter Mia
-Credit: (Image: Gemma Atkinson Instagram)

Gemma Atkinson was left holding back her tears as her daughter sweetly spoke of the letter she received from their beloved dog who died over the weekend. The Hits Radio host previously told how she'd written a note to Mia, from pet pooch Norman, in a bid to ease the tot's loss.

Gemma shared the heartbreaking news of Norman's death on Sunday (June 30) by posting a moving video featuring pictures and clips of him from over the years with her and fellow dog Ollie, as well as Gemma's fiancé Gorka Marquez and their two children, Mia and Thiago. "My beautiful boy Norman has passed away. My heart is broken," she said.

Continuing her emotional post confirming her family's sad loss, Gemma wrote: "12 years ago I made a promise to him that I would always take care of him and never allow him be in pain or to suffer. Had I put off making the hardest decision of my life any longer I would have broken that promise. It’s hard to put into words how much Norman changed my life and made it so much better Simply by just being there. Throughout the good & bad experiences the last 12 years he’s been there with Ollie making everything ok."

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The Bury-born star went on to pay tribute to her much-loved pet who she said gave her her "first experience of being a mum and having someone other than myself to care for". She also shared her sadness at Mia having also to suffer the loss. Gemma then rounded off her tear-jerking post: "I’m going to love you, miss you and remember you forever. Until we meet again Norman… Go and run again and have some fun up there with my dad. You’re such a good boy."

Returning to social media later that same day, Gemma shared how she'd hope to help her daughter. She told fans: "Mia's concern earlier was if he poos in heaven, will it fall on anyone? I had to laugh. I'm trying my hardest to explain to her what's happened and today I posted a card addressed to her from Norman in heaven, explaining he's happy and his legs work and she doesn't need to worry about him. It should arrive on Tues. I'm hoping it helps."

She added: "Thank you so much to @legacypets who were so incredibly kind, considerate and supportive of our wishes for Norman. He fell asleep peacefully at home on his bed right next to me. Before he left, I placed one of Thiago's dummies under his blanket. He always did love pinching them after all."

Mia read her card back for Norman -Credit:Gemma Atkinson Instagram
Mia read her card back for Norman -Credit:Gemma Atkinson Instagram

And now, Gemma, 39, has shared the emotional results of Mia's letter from Norman. Sharing a video to her Instagram Story on Tuesday (July 2), the mum-of-two could be seen speaking to the four-year-old in their Greater Manchester home. "Bless her," Gemma said before explaining: "Norman's said his legs work, he's very happy..."

She asked Mia what else he said, to which the toddler replied: "He can run around, he doesn't need his socks on and he's met the Queen and 'GanGan' David and he misses me very much. He'll visit me when I'm asleep..." before explaining he'd asked her to keep her 'snuggie' out for him, but she joked she'd lost it and would use her little brother's instead.

Mia's reaction did allow Gemma to have a laugh before she was left trying to hold back her tears as Mia read the letter she's written in response. The youngster, who turns five this week, said: "I made him a card. I'm going to read it to you, Norman. It says Mia misses you very much. I hope I can see you in the sky."

The mother and daughter duo were later seen taking Ollie for a walk when Mia mentioned seeing Norman in the sky. Alongside the clip, Gemma wrote: "I've never had to help a child through their grief before, but I've realised talking about Norm a lot has helped Mia. It actually makes me smile too."