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16th Jun 2021

Rob Delaney on the grief of losing his two-year-old son

Sarah McKenna Barry

The actor’s son passed away three years ago.

Rob Delaney has recently opened up about the pain of losing his two year-old son, Henry.

The actor, who appeared in Catastrophe and Deadpool 2, spoke about his grief during his appearance on the podcast This American Life.

Henry passed away in 2018. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016.

Delaney’s wife Leah was pregnant at the time, and the actor spoke about the anger he felt when people would only address the pregnancy rather than the family’s loss.

“I had never seen such relief on people’s faces,” Delaney said. “They’d be like, ‘Oh, so I don’t have to talk about his dead baby. I can talk about his new shiny baby that’s coming.

“And I wanted to kill those people because, I mean, that’s not news. It’s great, but we all know pregnant people (….) People get pregnant. But my two year-old, a little bit before his third birthday, he died in my home on my couch.”

The actor spoke about how important it is to allow yourself to feel all the emotions of grief.

“The best thing thing to do would be to let [a wave of emotions] happen and let me feel them. And then they’ll sort of dissipate organically.”

He added: “When the intense storm of sadness and anger and confusion would come up, I didn’t try to manage them, or push them away, but rather let them move through me as they needed to do.”

Delaney also spoke about the importance of connecting with other bereaved parents.

“The most helpful thing for me has been other bereaved parents,” he said. “Because when you come together, more useful than any of the words that anyone said to me would be if I saw a parent whose child had been dead longer than mine had, and I saw that they were able to tie their shoes. Was their shirt tucked in? Basic functions– just watching them pick grapes off of a stem and eat them. And I thought if they can do that, then I’ll be able to do that one day, hopefully.”