In personal diary entries folded into his new memoir, former Vice President Joe Biden recounts his son Beau Biden’s heart-wrenching final days and moments.
In Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose, Biden recalls visiting his son at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., just days before the former Delaware attorney general’s death from brain cancer at 46 in May 2015. The then-vice president was eager to tell his son that that singer Elton John had visited the White House earlier that day.
He said it reminded him of when he would drive Beau and his brother Hunter to school and all three would sing “Crocodile Rock” at the top of their lungs. He then began to sing the song to his son, who laid in bed partially paralyzed, hooked up to a feeding tube for nutrition and a breathing tube in his neck.
“I started to get emotional and wasn’t sure if I could go on,” Biden wrote, according to Delaware’s The News Journal. “Beau didn’t open his eyes, but I could see through my own tears that he was smiling. So I gathered myself and kept at it, for as much of the song as I could remember.”
Days later, on the night of May 30, 2015, Beau Biden took his final breath.
Biden recalls how his son Hunter, who had left to get food for the family, rushed back, “walked over, bent down to kiss him, and placed his hand over his brother’s heart.”
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Beau’s heart began to beat again but “it didn’t last long,” Biden wrote.
Beau died soon after.
In his diary that night, Biden wrote, “May 30. 7:51 p.m. It happened. My God, my boy. My beautiful boy.”