Loose Women panellist Gloria Hunniford has sent her love and support to co-star Brenda Edwards following the tragic death of her son Jamal Edwards.
Gloria, who lost her daughter Caron Keating to breast cancer in 2004, appeared on the ITV lunchtime show for the first time since the sad news broke that Jamal had lost his life aged 31.
The 81 year old used the opportunity to send her condolences to Brenda, 52. Gloria then thanked Loose Women viewers for their kind and heartfelt messages, saying she knew it would bring Brenda comfort and strength.
Gloria explained: “I just want to say to Brenda that ever since I heard the terrible news on Sunday about Jamal, they’ve been here [in my mind] the whole time.”
She then addressed viewers at home, saying: “Sometimes when a friend, or anybody you know, loses a loved one, some people say, ‘I didn’t know what to write,’ or ‘I didn’t know what to say.’”
“Let me tell you something, it means so much. I know after my daughter Caron died, those letters meant everything in that period of time because you want to know, and it gives you great comfort, that people loved your child.”
“So thank you very much for those and keep sending those messages, it’s really important.”
The TV star continued to pay tribute to the music pioneer and SBTV founder for his lasting legacy.
Gloria said: “Jamal was such a fantastic young man, I’ve been so impressed. I saw Jamal and met him here, but I learned by watching the news this week about how much he has done and his fame and inspiration.”
Gloria also opened up about the agony of losing a child, as she recalled the heartbreak she endured when Caron died.
As fellow panellist Carol McGiffin said Gloria understood the “amount of pain” of losing a child, Gloria replied: “I do, and I always want to preface it by saying that loss is loss, and grief is grief.”
“There’s no right or wrong way to do it. But I believe, having been through it, that losing a child takes you to a depth that you never knew you had of sadness.”
“To carry that child for nine months, to give birth to that child, adore that child and look after that child for six weeks, six years – thirty one years in Jamal’s case – it’s just unbearable to lose that child. It really is.”
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The show’s anchor Kaye Adams also told Loose Women viewers that Brenda had been keeping in contact with the panel to share how grateful she is for the outpouring of love she's received.
Kaye said: “Brenda’s been in touch and she sincerely wanted to pass on to you at home that she’d been so moved by all of your messages and love and support.”
“We will be passing those on to her. Tom, our producer, spoke to her literally minutes ago and Brenda was just saying that Jamal loved the fact that his mum, Brenda, was on this show.”
She added: “He was so proud of Brenda, they were so proud of each other, and she really is taking comfort from the messages that have come from the show here and you at home.”
To read more celebrity tributes to Jamal Edwards, sign up to our daily OK! Newsletter. Loose Women continues weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV
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