Catastrophe star Rob Delaney is opening up about the loss of his son Henry, who passed away in January 2018 at the age of 2 1/2.
The actor and his wife Leah lost their young son after he battled brain cancer. Delaney recently spoke to BBC Radio 4 about how his world changed since losing his little boy.
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“When I heard people were sharing so-called ‘moments of light’ on Radio 4, I got angry,” Delaney said during the interview. “How dare they? A historic pandemic and its mismanagement by the government is killing people by the thousands and Radio 4 programmers want to distract people with some mid-tier celebrities’ musings on lemon curd or parakeets? I got so angry I needed a ‘moment of light’ myself, so I began to think about my own death.”
“I think about dying a lot and it always makes me feel good,” continues the Deadpool 2 actor. “Like many people, I used to be afraid of dying. But a little less than three years ago, our then-youngest son Henry died of a brain tumor. It so happens he died on the morning of my 41st birthday. Thus, that date’s significance has been exchanged for something far larger and more powerful.”
Delaney, who also has three older sons, spoke about taking comfort in the fact that he’ll see Henry again one day, though he doesn’t know how or when.
“I don’t know where Henry went or what happened to him when he died — do you? But I know I’ll get to find out when I die. At the very least, I’ll get to experience something Henry experienced, and that’s wonderful,” he said. “That knowledge brings me peace. I won’t say ‘I can’t wait,’ because I can.”
After Henry’s death, Delaney and his wife had another son who was born in the same room where Henry died.
“I don’t know if Henry’s death made me love his brothers more, but it certainly made me love them better. Because when I hold them now, I know what they really are: They’re temporary gatherings of stardust, just like Henry,” the grieving dad said.
“They won’t be here forever,” he continued. “They’re here now, and it is my staggering privilege to get to hold them and smell them and stare at them. Sometimes I feel like a piece of metal floating, suspended between the magnetic push of life and the pull of death’s gravity. I guess that means I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”
“It’s funny, I only just realized I’m telling you this from the couch where Henry died, same couch where I wrestled with his three brothers this morning. I’m here now, but one day I’ll be wherever Henry is. I’ll have to die to get there, but that’s okay with me,” Delaney said.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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