real life

A "desperately sad" father shares how he's coping with losing his 2-year-old son to cancer.

Henry might only have been two-and-a-half, but already his dad could see his little personality taking hold. He was smart, funny, mischievous; a child filled with love and joy, despite having spent 15 months of his life confined to the walls of hospitals.

Sadly, Henry died in January this year.

The little boy’s father, television writer/actor Rob Delaney, shared his heartbreak via social media this week, writing that he, his wife – Leah – and their older sons have been left “devastated” by the loss the “beautiful” toddler to cancer.

The 41-year-old, who co-wrote and starred in the TV hit Catastrophe, explained that Henry had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016, shortly after his first birthday. Surgery and treatment halted the disease for a few months, but by Spring it returned.

“His tumour and surgery left him with significant physical disabilities, but he quickly learned sign language and developed his own method of getting from A to B shuffling on his beautiful little bum,” the UK-based actor wrote.

“His drive to live and to love and to connect was profound.”

Mia Freedman speaks to Gold Logie Winner Samuel Johnson about dealing with the death of his sister Connie.

Through his grief, Delaney is finding reasons for hope, for gratitude, in the nurses and doctors who cared for his son, the home carers and charity workers who eased the strain.

“I am desperately sad right now, but I can say with authority that there is good in this world,” he wrote.

That goodness and love, Delaney wrote, also lives within his wife and his sons.

“They are why I will endeavour to not go mad with grief. I don’t want to miss out on their beautiful lives. I’m greedy for more experiences with them.”

And lastly, in the memories of his youngest boy.

“Thank you, beautiful Henry, for spending as much time with us as you did.

“We miss you so much.”

If you are struggling with loss and grief, support is available via Beyond Blue 24 hours a day. Please call on 1300 22 4636 or visit the website.