Romance radio star Delilah is opening up about the pain of losing two of her sons.
While taping an episode of The Dr. Oz Show set to air on Friday, the famed host recalled how angry she felt after her 18-year-old son Zack died by suicide in 2017. (Her 16-year-old son Sammy also died from complications from sickle cell anemia in 2012.)
“I went into a rage when I started doing the research on the medicine I told you that he was given,” Delilah, 59, said, though it’s unclear which medicine her son was taking at the time of his death.
But then, “a couple of things happened” that changed her perspective.
“There’s a man named Rory Feek who is a country songwriter who lost his wife to cancer,” she explained. “He called me, and he said, ‘Delilah, your boys are much more a part of your future than they are of your past.'”
“We share the same faith and I just, I was in this rage, and I said, ‘How can you say that? I don’t get to go to their weddings, I don’t get to see their babies, I don’t get to be a grandma, I don’t get to see them graduate, both of them,'” she continued. “And he said, ‘Because you know where they are, and you know you’ll be with them in the future.'”
On Dr. Oz, Delilah also recounted the moments leading up to Zack’s death.
“[Zack gave me permission] to call his doctor and I did call — I called twice — and I said, ‘My son’s talking about weird space travel and weird time loop continuums,'” she said. “His doctor never returned my call. He spent Saturday and Sunday at his dad’s house, they had his favorite food, they watched Star Wars.“
“Then, Monday night, he came home from his dad’s house,” she continued. “He spent a few hours in the barn with our cats — we had four kittens — [then] came in and ate dinner with our family. [He] went up to his room and played video games, and then at 10:30 he came down. I was in Africa and he said to my husband, ‘I’m going to go for a walk.'”
Delilah revealed the news of Zack’s death on her Facebook page on Oct. 12, 2017, a little more than a week after his death on Oct. 3. She told Dr. Oz that following Zack’s death, her niece found a “nine-page letter tucked under the pillow of his bed” that he had left behind.
“It was all about time travel,” she said. “He said he had to fix something that was wrong, and that he would wake up the next day in his own bed, and he would probably have to do this a number of times before he got it right.”
As for what she misses most about Zack (one of her three biological children; her other 11 children were welcomed through adoption), Delilah said, “He had more energy than all my other kids added up — just larger than life.”
“Early in the morning, at 4 or 5 o’clock, he would come into my room and lay down on the covers next to me and just be my baby again,” she said. “The day before I went to Africa, he did that. That was the last time I held my son.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.