"Sobriety allows me to grieve fully, and grief is an expression of love," Rob Delaney wrote

By Natalie Stone
February 04, 2019 04:19 PM
Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Rob Delaney is reflecting on his years-long sobriety journey.

The Catastrophe actor revealed a milestone moment with his followers on social media Monday: He’s been sober for 17 years.

“As of today I’ve been sober 17 years. 17 years ago I was in jail in a wheelchair. Today I’m not,” wrote Delaney, 42.

“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,” he continued.

Although he is celebrating this personal victory, the past few years have been full of heartbreak.

Last February, he announced that his toddler son Henry died in January 2018 after battling brain cancer since 2016. Henry was 2½.

Rob Delaney/Twitter

“This has been a brutal year for my family and me. Our first year without our son and brother Henry,” Delaney wrote in his social media post. “Had I not been sober it would have been far worse. As it was, I squeaked by.”

By staying sober, the Deadpool 2 star said he’s been able to fully process emotions — both the highs and the lows.

“Sobriety allowed me to be a reasonably good dad, husband and worker though[sic] it all. (If you average it out. I think.),” Delaney said.

He concluded, “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.”

In February 2018, Delaney announced the devastating news of Henry’s death. “I have very sad news. My 2½-year-old son Henry has passed away,” Delaney wrote in a statement shared on his Facebook page.

“Henry had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016, shortly after his first birthday, following persistent vomiting and weight loss. He had surgery to remove the tumor and further treatment through the early part of 2017. Then the cancer returned last autumn and he died in January,” the actor said.

RELATED VIDEO: Rob Delaney Reveals His 2-Year-Old Son Henry Has Died of Brain Cancer

Delaney added that his wife Leah and Henry’s two older brothers “are devastated of course.”

“Henry was a joy. He was smart, funny, and mischievous and we had so many wonderful adventures together, particularly after he’d moved home following 15 months living in hospitals,” Delaney continued, saying that even though Henry’s “tumor and surgery left him with significant physical disabilities” his son had “quickly learned sign language and developed his own method of getting from A to B shuffling on his beautiful little bum.”

“His drive to live and to love and to connect was profound,” he added.

Rob Kim/Getty

Delaney also revealed that following his son’s death, the actor had been “astonished by the love-in-action displayed by Henry’s mom and his brothers.”

“They are why I will endeavor to not go mad with grief. I don’t want to miss out on their beautiful lives. I’m greedy for more experiences with them,” he explained.

And more love has come into his family’s lives. Five months after Henry’s death, Delaney announced that he and his wife Leah were expecting a baby.

And in August, the couple welcomed their fourth son, Delaney revealed in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine.

“We likely would’ve had a fourth anyway,” Delaney told the U.K. publicationof his and his wife’s decision to expand their family while Henry was sick. “But I mean, there’s mixed feelings. It’s sort of like [Henry and the new baby] touch each other a little bit, but they almost exist in separate lanes.”

“Having another child in no way, shape or form eases the grief of Henry dying. But also having Henry dying doesn’t make our new son any less magical,” he continued. “I want to gobble him up and he deserves our full attention and love, and he grew in the same womb as Henry.”