It was an emotional show on last night’s Late Late Show as actor Rob Delaney sat down with Patrick Kielty to discuss the tragic passing of his late son.
In 2018, the American actor’s two-year-old son, Henry, tragically passed away after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Rob honoured Henry’s life in his upcoming book A Heart That Works, explaining: “The book is about Henry’s life and his death and what our family has been like since.”
“I have three other boys – a 12-year-old, a ten-year-old and a new five-year-old with whom my wife was pregnant with when Henry died.”
“So this book is about our family and Henry is of course the star of the book but I wanted to talk about him I wanted more people to know about him.”
Rob was also quick to commend his sons for how they handled their brother’s illness, sharing how they visited the hospital often when one-year-old Henry was admitted.
Sharing: “The one thing we did do well was we constantly had his older brothers in the hospital. Regularly there would be one hospital bed with three kids in it.”
“And so I am grateful that we knew to keep the kids in the same room as much as possible so that was good but then when we did get him home for the last seven months of his life that was like… I mean you never think about, ‘Are all my kids going to be under the same roof?’ Of course if you’re asked, ‘Do you want your kids under the same roof?’ ‘Of course yes.'”
“You think, ‘What scenario would they not be under the same roof?’ So that was maddening and when we finally got back under the same roof we were very happy.”
Going on to explain how Henry sadly passed away on Rob’s birthday.
Patrick related to the situation and shared how his father died on his brother’s birthday. The comedian’s father was murder by loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Freedom Fighters, in 1988.
With Patrick saying: “My dad was killed on my brother’s birthday so I know how hard that is.”
“But one of the things you said which I thought was brilliant you were glad it was your birthday because…”
As Rob added: “Yes because Henry’s brother, right above him, his birthday is five days after mine. So we could see that Henry was dying. We thought … I don’t think we said it out loud but I remember thinking, ‘Please don’t let him die on his brother’s birthday.'”
“So there was, among all the other terrible feelings, there was a tiniest bit of relief that merely my birthday was totally destroyed forever rather than a kid who was turning five that would have been awful.”
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Opening up about his grief, Rob confessed that he “certainly still cries about him” and his family are still grieving.
Saying: “The days leading up to his anniversary are always terrible. We bicker and fight and are crying and then the day of, once we’ve gotten that out of our system, are often very peaceful and we’re thinking a lot of happy thoughts about Henry.”
“You never know where you’re going to be in the peaks and the valleys but you know they’re going to come.”
Concluding the chat, Patrick who was nearly in tears, offered encouragement based on his experiences with grief.
Saying: “It’s a beautiful book. It’s been a long time since I lost my dad and I know it’s not long since you lost Henry I just want to say to you that there might be a day that you will be able to celebrate a birthday again.”
Their conversation won praise from viewers who commended Rob for his honesty and Patrick for his compassion.
Powerful & moving interview on the #LateLateShow. Rob Delaney talking about the death of his son Henry aged 3 from a brain tumour. Half his face was paralysed from this tumour & he was tube fed.Puts into perspective the vitrolic rants people have on Twitter over literally nothing pic.twitter.com/syaIsydYKB
— Marie O’Neill (@marie_librarian) September 29, 2023
Patrick Kielty really showing his own strengths here- managing a v emotional interview ….being personal with it but not overly so! 👏👏 #latelateshow
— Stephanie Regan (@StephanieBRegan) September 29, 2023
Rob Delaney is so amazing. He’s strength, courage & bravery is incredible I’ve no doubt that Henry would be so proud of his wonderful dad #LateLateShow
— @Aoifs123 (@Aoifs123) September 29, 2023
— John Kelly | thejohnkelly.bsky.social (@thejohnkelly) September 29, 2023
Thought it was beautifully handled interview between Rob Delaney and Patrick Kielty on last night’s Late Late Show. You could see real compassion in Patrick’s eyes, while Rob discussed the heartbreaking loss of his son! 💔😥#LateLate #AHeartthatworks #Thelatelateshow pic.twitter.com/T16QJe7htG
— Niall O’Loughlin Artist (@nialloloughlin) September 30, 2023
The empathetic @PatricKielty interview with Rob Delaney on the #LateLateShow was just wonderful and one of the best in the Late Late’s history. Patrick Kielty is a revelation as he can be so funny but also so insightful in his interviews because of his emotional intelligence. 👏
— Brian Kiely #BeARayofSunshine #BeABloodDonor (@BrianKiely2) September 29, 2023
Patrick Kielty’s interview with Rob Delaney was very moving . He is an authentic man #LateLateShow
— Eavan Murray (@EavanMurray) September 29, 2023
This sensitive, funny, empathetic interview has kind of floored me tonight…
— Regina Looby (@reglooby) September 29, 2023