Easy listening radio host Delilah is used to dealing with other people’s misery.
Now she’s suffering herself.
On Saturday the Oregon native (full name Delilah Rene) shared some tragic news on social media: Her son Zachariah had committed suicide on Oct. 3.
“He was being treated, counseled, and embraced fiercely by family and friends while battling depression for some time now. My heart is broken beyond repair and I can not fathom how to go on ... but I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through.”
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Delilah — whose first show, “Lights Out,” which took requests and listened to people’s problems, debuted in 1984 at KLSY/Seattle — will be on indefinite leave from her show, which airs on Easy 93.1 in South Florida 7 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Friday.
“In the meantime we’ll be playing some of my favorite shows from the recent past,” Delilah, 57, continued. “I’ll look forward to my return, as you all lift me up so very much!”
Her followers have supported her the way she has supported them over the years. Excerpts from their well wishes:
“He had an ache no one could soothe and demons no one could quell. He is at peace, his struggle is over and he can now rest. May God hold your son in His loving arms and carry him home. I pray our Lord cradles your family close to His heart and grants you solace in the painful time. Our hearts and prayers are with you.”
“Delilah you mean so much to so many of us as you share your faith, wisdom and music. May God be your stronghold through this terrible tragedy. The loss of a child is so devastating and not something any parent should experience. Our prayers are with you. I know you will have wonderful memories that you can call on as you try to heal your heart and soul. Blessings!”
“How can you express condolences to a mom who has lost her son. I have no words to express how sorry I am for your loss. Depression is something that is so hard to stabilize. I have children who suffer with it and I know the battle we all fight to keep them well. May the Lord wrap his arms around you.”
The so-called queen of sappy love songs has 12 other children (many of whom are adopted) and has been divorced three times. Zachariah is one of her three biological children. Back in January, she wrote about the son she lovingly nicknamed “Zach Attack.”
“Almost 18 years ago I gave birth to my ‘miracle son.’ (ALL babies are miracles but Zachariah was especially miraculous.) At 35 I was told by three different docs that I would not be able to carry another bio child. Happy with the two I had given birth to but still wanting to add to my family, we set about adopting a child from foster care ... when we got custody of our 12-year-old son Manny we discovered he had two other siblings in foster care. A few visits later we got custody of them ... during the process of adopting those two, and caring for five kids, (while using birth control just to be safe) ... I found out I was pregnant,” she wrote.
“I managed to carry my baby almost full term while on bed rest, and he was born weighing only 5 lbs and had a number of health issues. At 18 months he was diagnosed with a multitude of challenges, including being on the autistic spectrum.”
Delilah continued that he was completing his final semester of high school and survived 13 broken bones.
“He doesn’t perceive pain like a typical child and has no fear factor,” continued the post.
The single mom already lost another son, Sammy, back in 2012 due to complications of sickle-cell anemia. According to The Christian Broadcasting Network, the boy had spent much of his childhood in a Ghanaian refugee camp. Delilah founded the nonprofit organization Point Hope in 2004 to help foster children in America and refugees in Ghana and Liberia.
“I founded Point Hope so that I could accomplish some things I wanted to do for children who had no one to advocate for them, children who had no voice. Since I have been blessed with a voice on the radio each night, I thought I would use my celebrity position and my financial resources to help these kids,” shares Delilah.
Listeners are invited to leave a message of condolences for her on Easy 93.1’s Facebook page.