Gemma Atkinson told 'it's heartbreaking' by fans as she takes 'small steps' to feel 'herself again'

Gemma Atkinson
-Credit: (Image: Gemma Atkinson Instagram)

Gemma Atkinson has been flooded with support from fans after telling them she had made 'small steps to 'feel like herself again' after her family's tragic loss. The Hits Radio host confirmed the loss of the family's beloved dog, Norman, last Sunday (June 30).

Bury-born Gemma, 39, shared the heartbreaking news on Sunday (June 30), posting a moving video featuring pictures and clips of him from over the years with her and fellow dog Ollie, as well as her fiance Gorka Marquez and their two children.

She said her "heart was broken" as she paid tribute to her much-loved pet who she said had given her her "first experience of being a mum and having someone other than myself to care for" alongside his companion Ollie before she and Gorka welcomed Mia and Thiago.

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The following day, Gemma took to her Instagram Story and speaking to the camera, she admitted she 'can't speak without crying'. She said: "Just to say thank you again, my hair hasn't been washed in days. Norman is obviously not here now, well he is but just not in his shell.

"The amount of white feathers genuinely. So much has happened these last few days which I will tell you about when I can speak without crying. But thank you for your messages, we're good and we're cracking on."

Gemma and Gorka have since celebrated their daughter's fifth birthday on Thursday and Gemma told how as Mia's day came to an end on Thursday (July 4), she debrief with her mum - and her words broke her heart. Sharing a typed-out message on her Instagram Story, the mum-of-two said: "Thought I'd got through today cry free but Mia just told me in bed she's had a really good birthday but her best present ever would have been if Norman came home."

But Gemma is now trying to channel her grief as she shared a look at her latest workout in the gym of her Greater Manchester home. Sharing the video of herself woking up a sweat on Instagram on Friday (July 5), the former Hollyoaks and Emmerdale star said: "Grief is a funny old thing isn’t it?

Gemma with her beloved pooch, Norman -Credit:Gemma Atkinson Instagram
Gemma with her beloved pooch, Norman -Credit:Gemma Atkinson Instagram

"One day your doing fine and then suddenly something will remind you and it hits you out of nowhere. We all deal and cope with it differently, there’s no rule book."

She told how she 'didn't rain for over a week', which she said for her was a long time, as her 'head wasn't in it' and she wanted to spend all the time she could with Norman before his sad passing. "It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions," Gemma continued. "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.

"I’m personally someone who copes far better with physical pain than emotional pain, I always have been. 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.
Like I say, we all cope differently

"After my first gym session yesterday I instantly felt a little better and it put me in a good head space to WANT to train again today. It was a reminder to myself how beneficial it is for me to exercise. 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." She added: "Small steps to feeling like me again."

The post was quickly flooded with messages of love and support. @xtenddoublehairextensions said: "Awww he’s always with you. You gave him the most amazing life … now he’s chasing friends .. playing over the rainbow Try to find peace knowing he totally FELT your love and felt safe."

@emilyjd_89 wrote: "It’s so heartbreaking! Sometimes I laugh at the memories and other times I cry!" @tiggerjules commented: "Grief for anyone is hard darling. Remember the good times and keep talking especially with Mia." @jooliespoolie posted: "You’re an inspiration and I applaud your honesty."

@paulab74xx shared: "I feel this so much. It’s 2 years today since we lost our Princess. They are such a big part of the family so just feel what you need to - lots of love and hugs." @lyndathurman2022 replied: "You will get there I promise. Sending you a big hug." @dave_archer70 added: "Sending love to you & your family stay strong just remember you gave Norman the best life