Comedian Rob Delaney Celebrates 17 Years Of Sobriety

By Maggie Ethridge 02/08/19

The Catastrophe actor took to Instagram to pen a somber note about his sober milestone and his late son.

Rob Delaney
Photo via YouTube

Rob Delaney, creator and star of the celebrated Amazon Prime show, Catastrophe, announced his 17th year of sobriety on February 4th. This milestone is all the more meaningful for the comedian, who nearly a year ago lost his toddler son, Henry, to cancer.

On Monday, Delaney wrote about his sober anniversary and his son Henry in a reflective post. Henry died in January 2018 after struggling with brain cancer. Rob and wife Leah Delaney had three boys, and not long after Henry’s death, another son was born.

Delaney wrote on Instagram:

"As of today I've been sober 17 years. 17 years ago I was in jail in a wheelchair. Today I'm not. I am profoundly grateful to the alcoholics who shined a light on the path for me and helped equip me with the skills to live life well."

In his memoir Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. wrote about his drunk-driving accident that landed him in jail and rehab.

“Twelve years ago I was in jail, in a wheelchair. The hospital gown I was in was covered in blood from my bleeding face. My top front right tooth was missing a piece. My right arm and my left wrist were broken. They were broken so badly they both required surgery. My knees had slammed into the dashboard of the car I was driving the night before and split open to the bone. They weren't broken, but they'd been operated on and sewed shut in the emergency room of Cedars-Sinai hospital, just before I went to jail.”

“This has been a brutal year for my family and me,” Delaney continued on Instagram. “Our first year without our son and brother Henry. Had I not been sober it would have been far worse. As it was, I squeaked by," he confessed.

"Sobriety allowed me to be a reasonably good dad, husband and worker though it all. (If you average it out. I think.) Sobriety allows me to grieve fully, and grief is an expression of love. Thank you to everyone who has helped me. I can't do it alone."

Delaney announced on Facebook in February 2018 that his son Henry had died of cancer. Henry was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016, and after treatment the cancer reoccured in fall 2017.

"Henry was a joy. He was smart, funny, and mischievous and we had so many wonderful adventures together," Delaney wrote at the time. "Thank you, beautiful Henry, for spending as much time with us as you did. We miss you so much."

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Maggie May Ethridge is the author of Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes From a Marriage (Shebooks, 2014) and the recently completed novel, Agitate My Heart. She is a freelance writer published in Rolling Stone, VOX, Washington Post, The Guardian and many others. Find her at her blog Flux Capacitor or on LinkedIn or Twitter.