Delilah Rene is temporarily leaving the airwaves in the wake of her son’s death by suicide.
The popular syndicated radio host announced Saturday she will take a hiatus from her listener request program — currently carried on approximately 200 stations around the country — after one of her 13 children, Zachariah, took his life on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
“I will be absent from the radio and on social media for a time as I grieve and try to process this loss with my family,” she wrote in a lengthy Facebook post. “In the mean-time we’ll be playing some of my favorite shows from the recent past. I’ll look forward to my return, as you all lift me up so very much!”
Explaining her son’s condition, Rene elaborated that he “was being treated, counseled, and embraced fiercely by family and friends while battling depression for some time now,” noting that her “heart is broken beyond repair.”
“I can not fathom how to go on,” she continued. “But I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through… Please pray for my beloved Zacky, and I will pray for all suffering from this debilitating disease called depression.”
Another of Rene’s sons, Sammy, died in 2012 after suffering complications from sickle-cell anemia. Ten of her children are adopted, including four from the Washington State foster care system, two orphans from Ghana, and three Liberian refugees.
In 1993, Rene founded the Point Hope Foundation, through which she “advocates for reform in the foster care system and lives the belief of finding Forever Families for as many children as there are available to adopt,” according to the organization’s website.
A date for Rene’s return to her eponymous show has yet to be announced.