In the wake of the death of his 2-year-old son, who died of cancer in January, actor and comedian Rob Delaney has shared a heartfelt letter on fatherhood and tragedy with his thousands of Facebook followers. Delaney, who brilliantly plays a harried father on the brutally honest British comedy Catastrophe and is one, had spoken openly about his son Henry’s diagnosis since he found out about the boy’s brain tumor back in 2016. He had reason to celebrate in 2017, when the tumor was removed. But the cancer subsequently returned.
In his letter, Delaney expressed the devastation felt not just by himself, but by Henry’s mother and two brothers as well. He described his late son as “smart, funny, and mischievous” before describing how radically being hospitalized for 15-months had changed Henry’s life and the lives of everyone in their family. “His tumor and surgery left him with significant physical disabilities,” wrote Delaney, “but he quickly learned sign language and developed his own method of getting from A to B shuffling on his beautiful little bum.”
After that Delaney spoke lovingly of Henry’s demeanor during treatment, saying his son’s “drive to live and to love and to connect was profound.” When it comes to going on and living life after the tragedy, Delaney credits his wife and two sons for being the reasons he’ll “endeavor to not go mad with grief.” He’s now putting the role of father and husband first, saying that “I don’t want to miss out on their beautiful lives. I’m greedy for more experiences with them.”
Towards the end of his letter, Delaney urged readers to donate to the UK based organizations Rainbow Trust and Noah’s Ark. Both provide services and support for families with sick children. Without them, Delaney noted, his family would have been far worse off.
“Thank you, beautiful Henry, for spending as much time with us as you did,” the actor said in closing. “We miss you so much.”
I have very sad news. My two and a half year year old son Henry has passed away. Henry had been diagnosed with a brain…