In her new book, One Heart at a Time, the ra­dio host shares how her faith got her through a fam­ily tragedy.

THE POP­U­LAR RA­DIO HOST SHARES HOW SHE SUR­VIVED HER SON’S SUI­CIDE

Closer Weekly - - Contents - ” — Lisa Cham­bers

My world shat­tered a year ago on Oct. 2, 2017,” Delilah Rene says of the day her 18-year-old son, Zack, took his own life. From that point on the woman who’s fa­mous for com­fort­ing those who call in to her ra­dio shows re­quest­ing love songs and a shoul­der to cry on found that she was now the per­son fac­ing heartbreak. “Th­ese have been the hard­est months of my life, and that of my fam­ily,” she says. “I miss him ev­ery minute and hour of ev­ery day.”

Delilah, 58, is now shar­ing her grief and her jour­ney to find heal­ing in her new book, One Heart at a Time, in which she grap­ples with the loss and looks back on her life. Zack was one of her three bi­o­log­i­cal kids; she also has adopted 10 oth­ers. “I be­lieve with my whole heart ev­ery­one can help a child in need,” she says.

FIND­ING STRENGTH

Sadly, she wasn’t able to help Zack, whom she calls “a live wire from day one.” By the time he was 2, Zack had been di­ag­nosed as be­ing on the autism spec­trum. She and Zack’s fa­ther, her third hus­band, Dou­glas Ortega, got him oc­cu­pa­tional and phys­i­cal ther­apy, but Zack strug­gled with de­pres­sion.

Af­ter his sui­cide, Delilah says, “I couldn’t write, I couldn’t talk about it.” But she drew strength from her faith: “Prayer el­e­vates me from bouts of de­pres­sion, grounds me dur­ing bouts of hys­te­ria,” she says.

In the book she re­veals how much she’s over­come, from her con­trol­ling fa­ther to di­vorces and the death of an adopted son from sickle cell ane­mia. Through it all, she never lost hope. “So many lis­ten­ers sent the most beau­ti­ful thoughts and prayers,” she says.

And while she’s lost a lot in her life, Delilah ap­pre­ci­ates all she still has, in­clud­ing her hus­band of six years, Paul Warner, her chil­dren and all of her lis­ten­ers. Says Delilah: “I can still say, ‘I’m the most blessed woman I know.’

Delilah called life with Zack “a mag­i­cal mys­tery tour.”

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