In a vulnerable post on Instagram, comedian Rob Delaney shares how scared he and his wife were when their then 15-month old son started chemotherapy and had a tracheotomy tube. But he adds how he longs for having a sick child instead of being without him.
“Look at my beautiful little chunker asleep,” the 44-year-old London based actor shared. “(He) has just started chemo. You can clearly see his tracheotomy tube here too … The things my wife and I had to learn to care for a one year old with a complex tracheotomy … But I wish to hell I was still doing it every day. I miss caring for him. Our son Henry.”
Henry died of brain cancer when he was 2 in January 2018. Right after turning 1 in 2016, doctors found a brain tumor. Henry had surgery and follow up treatment, according to Delaney’s Facebook post about Henry’s death. But then in the fall of 2017, the cancer returned and Henry passed away.
“Henry was a joy. He was smart, funny, and mischievous and we had so many wonderful adventures together, particularly after he'd moved home following fifteen months living in hospitals,” Delaney said on Facebook. "His drive to live and to love and to connect was profound.”
Since then the “Catastrophe” and “Tom and Jerry” star has often shared tender memories of Henry. Last Father’s Day, he shared a photo of him sitting on the floor with an infant Henry on his lap.
“Look at this beautiful boy. He died when he was 2. I’m still his dad & he’s still my son,” he wrote.
Delaney often writes about Henry to help others grappling with loss.
“I speak publicly about Henry in an effort to destigmatize grief,” he shared on Twitter. “My family is sad & in pain because our beautiful 2 yr old boy died after a long illness. Why wouldn’t we be sad? Why wouldn’t we be angry and confused?”
He also stressed that he’s not trying to update people or to use social media as therapy.
“I just want other bereaved parents & siblings to feel seen/heard/respect/loved,” he wrote. “And maybe they might help someone not schooled in grief support a friend better. I don’t know.”
Celebrities and fans responded with support to his latest message. Designer Todd Oldham wrote:
“Thank you for sharing your love for him, I am sorry he did not have the opportunity to grow up with you as a guide.”
While a fan shared:
“The way you talk about your son is so lovely. He’s still so present to you and it’s really helpful to those suffering with grief.”