SLOW member, Rob Delaney, gives a truthful and powerful portrayal of Henry’s terminal illness and the horrific heartbreak that followed his death and the effect on his family. It’s a truly beautiful article that is brave and honest. For the full article click here, to access the article you can register for free (or subscribe) to the Sunday Times.
Whenever anyone asks Delaney how he is, they tend to add hastily, “Oh my God, that’s a stupid question.” No, it isn’t, he tells them — “If you’re ready to hear the answer. The answer is my heart hurts, OK? I had trouble getting out of bed today, and I cried before I got up. And then I had a cup of coffee, played with my other kids, came and said hello to my wife, and then I started to feel better. Then I got sad again. So I love that question. I tell people, I’m a balloon that is filled almost to the point of bursting, and when you bring up my dead son, it’s like you’ve let a little out. It’s like a gift.”
Are people ready to hear that answer? “Not everybody, but I don’t care. I’m an ambassador from the f****** other side now, and I feel a bit of a responsibility, being in the public eye, to show people what grief looks like.” He pauses for a moment to reflect. “It’s just so weird to me how we deny grief, how we shut it out.”
In this moving article Rob also talks about the SLOW groups and the support they have given him and his family:
We live on a lunar outpost now. Except on this lunar outpost, there are other [bereaved] parents. There are good people here, but we are different.” Delaney and his wife attend a group for bereaved parents. “Which is just such a sacred experience. The amount they help us is truly staggering. And I didn’t have to be coaxed into it, because I knew the power of sitting around in a group and talking about a problem.”
SLOW understands that is it vitally important for bereaved parents to verbalise the pain, talk about what happened, share their child and ask questions – sometimes over and over – with other parents that understand. SLOW support groups are here for bereaved parents weeks, months or even years after the death of a child. All our groups are facilitated by bereaved parents. For more information on our forthcoming groups click here