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Rob Delaney Sought to ‘Ruin People’s Day’ With Memoir on Grief Over Son’s Death

New Memoir

“That is one thing grief does to me. It makes me want to make you understand,” comedian and actor writes in A Heart That Works

Comedian and actor Rob Delaney discussed his upcoming new memoir A Heart That Works — which delves into the many facets of grief that followed the death of his 2-and-a-half-year-old son Henry who had brain cancer — in a new interview with The New York Times. As the devastating subject matter implies, it is not intended to be an easy read.

“I wanted to ruin people’s day,” he told The Times. “I wanted to ruin their week or their month. I wanted people to feel like they’d picked up a book, perhaps for entertainment, perhaps for enlightenment, and I wanted them to be punished.”

As he writes in the book: “That is one thing grief does to me. It makes me want to make you understand.”

While grief is at its center, Delaney injects his “pitch black humor” into even the darkest corners of the book. The co-creator and co-star of Catastrophe, which concluded with its fourth season in 2019, said that grief is unavoidable, but the love is worth the pain that springs from such unfathomable loss.

“That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to unhappiness,” he said. “You don’t have to be afraid even though you will forever miss this person, you will forever ache for them. The grief will weave into your life and will be a part of your tapestry. It’ll leave and it’ll come back, but the sooner we get hip to that the sooner we’ll be able to be happy, in snatches, here and there. And that’s OK. That’s life.”

A Heart That Works arrives on Nov. 29 via Spiegel & Grau.

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