real life

"I'm a mess... a bag of wet rubbish." Rob Delaney on life after losing his two-year-old son.

US actor Rob Delaney has been incredibly honest describing the 14 months since he lost his two-year-old son, Henry.

Henry died from a brain tumour in January last year, leaving the Catastrophe star and his wife Leah, devastated.

“I’m a mess. My child died 14 months ago and I’m basically a bag of wet rubbish,” he told the Evening Standard.

“I need a lot of help. It has been very hard. It comes in waves. I’ve learned to not control how the waves come. Right now I’m sad a lot.”

The state of his mindset and life isn’t surprising to anyone who has lost a child or close loved one, but what may be surprising is how open he was about it.

The 42-year-old addressed this, saying “the reason I’m being honest with you and not trying to impress you, and make you think I’m cool or that I’m a tough guy, or maybe working through loss in an inspiring way, is that I have found that if a bereaved parent or bereaved sibling reads this, I want them to know that it’s okay that they feel terrible, sad, confused and so brutally humbled”.

“I’ve been sad and angry and I am telling you that just in case somebody else who has suffered a terrible loss reads this — so they don’t feel like some asshole from TV has it all together. I am a lifetime work in progress.”

Delaney made the comments while at the annual fundraiser for UK children’s charity Rainbow Trust on Monday.

On Thursday, he shared a link to the interview on Twitter, saying how much the charity supported him and his family while his son was being treated in hospital. Henry was diagnosed with having a brain tumour in 2016 and received extensive treatment up until his death.


The writer said in a follow-up tweet that although he felt like he was “pulling [his] weight professionally”, he worried that people have an attitude of thinking he wasn’t “up to task” because of his grief.

He and his wife Leah have three other sons, and he told the Standard this was part of the reason he wanted to keep working on his series Catastrophe, to help give them at least some normalcy.

“As it was I had to (or rather *could afford to*) turn down several jobs while caring for Henry and just after he died,” he tweeted.

“I tell my story and express my fears because those fears are far greater and more justified for people less materially fortunate than me.”

The comedian wanted to draw attention to the financial toll losing a child can have on a family.

“Grief is brutal and the knock-on financial costs of losing a child can be devastating. There ARE people and organisations who are profoundly skilled at helping,” he tweeted.

Delaney also urged the community not to avoid those experiencing grief.

“Finally, don’t be afraid of grieving people. Like it or not, we know something you will one day learn. We’re good for you.”

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