Earlier this year, Rob Delaney and his wife Leah shared the devastating news that their two-year-old son Henry had passed away after he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour.
The Catastrophe actor wrote a beautiful tribute to his "smart, funny, and mischievous" son Henry after his heartbreaking death as his family try to grieve the loss of their beautiful son.
The family recently announced their joy as they plan to welcome a new arrival but, naturally, Henry is never far from their thoughts.
Writing on Medium, Delaney shared a beautiful and powerful essay detailing Henry's diagnosis and illness, and how the devastation had impacted everything around his family and life.
"Henry’s tracheotomy tube prevents him from speaking, so I haven’t heard him make a peep for over a year. My wife recently walked in on me crying and listening to recordings of him babbling, from before his diagnosis and surgery."
"I may wish Henry wasn’t in the hospital and it may make me f**king sick that my kids haven’t lived under the same roof for over a year. But I’m always, always happy to enter the hospital every morning and see him. It’s exciting every day to walk into his room and see him and see him see me," he wrote. "..And when he smiles, forget about it. A regular baby’s smile is wonderful enough. When a sick baby with partial facial paralysis smiles, it’s golden. Especially if it’s my baby."
He explained that Henry had been vomiting consistently and that he and Leah had to visit a number of doctors before they would know the heartbreaking root of the cause. His words are powerful, raw and honest, as well as utterly wrenching to read.
"I would often start crying whenever he threw up. I would try not to cry in front of his older brothers and fail and they’d ask why, and I would say it was because I was scared."
He explained he had started writing the post as a book for parents of sick children so that it might offer some form of help or comfort to those in the same position but decided to stop writing when he saw his son’s last bad MRI scan.
He stopped writing, he says, so that his family could focus on Henry and his happiness, but sharing the post now, he says he wants other parents to know that they are heard and understood.
"The reason I’m putting this out there now is that the intended audience for this book was to be my fellow parents of very sick children. They were always so tired and sad, like ghosts, walking the halls of the hospitals, and I wanted them to know someone understood and cared. I’d still like them to know that, so here these few pages are, for them. Or for you."
"…I can’t write that book anymore because our family’s story has a different ending than I’d hoped for. Maybe I’ll write a different book in the future, but now my responsibility is to my family and myself as we grieve our beautiful Henry."
We commend the Delaney family for their incredible strength and courage; for sharing the moving words that might provide others grieving with a source of comfort.
You can read the post in full HERE.