| 6.3°C Dublin

heartache Hollywood actor Rob Delaney discusses grief of losing his two-and-a-half-year-old son


Comedian Rob Delaney said he’s no longer afraid of death after his son tragically passed away almost three years ago.

Delaney and his wife Leah lost their two-and-a-half-year-old son Henry in January of 2018, after he died of the brain cancer that had been afflicting him since 2016. Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Delaney discussed how the tragedy has changed his outlook on life.

“I think about dying a lot and it always makes me feel good,” he said. The star, who has three other sons, said that Henry died on his 41st birthday.

“Thus that date's significance has been exchanged for something far larger and more powerful.”

The Deadpool 2 actor added that he’s unsure what occurs in the afterlife, but there now exists an element of it which is comforting.

“I don’t know where Henry went or what happened to him when he died,” he said. “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. That knowledge brings me peace.”

BBC Radio 4 was running a series about moments of light in various celebrities' lives throughout the pandemic, which angered Delaney.

“How dare they?” he said. “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.”

He later went on to discuss how life goes on after Henry’s death, as he must still be a dad for his other three sons.

“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. They won’t be here forever - they’re here now. And it’s my staggering privilege to get to hold them, and smell them, and stare at them.”

On a final note, Delaney once again went back to talking about his own death.

“I’m here now, but one day I’ll be wherever Henry is,” he said. “I’ll have to die to get there, but that’s okay with me.”

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Online Editors