Richard Engel’s spouse Marry Forrest is making a statement after their son Henry passed away last August as a result of complications from Rett syndrome.
Only six years old, Henry.
Forrest wrote about the “surreal” week she had with her son’s body before he was cremated in a personal essay that was posted on Today.com.
She wrote, “That time in my life is a fog, but the hours I spent with Henry’s body are distinct in my mind.
Engel revealed in 2018 that his oldest child, Henry, had been identified as having Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder for which there is no known treatment.
Although it was difficult, Forrest decided to let the world know about his personal situation because he thought it might help other families who might be having trouble getting a diagnosis for their child.
It’s raw, heartbreaking, and extremely personal, but hopefully others will see this and feel a little less alone, and we will too, she remarked at the time.
Engel provided an update in 2022 that no one wanted to hear. Henry was struggling.
“As his health worsened, he acquired dystonia, or uncontrollable stiffness and shaking. In May 2022, he wrote, “He was in the hospital for six weeks, but is currently at home and receiving love from brother Theo.
Engel informed others who were interested in Henry’s story in August. Henry, our cherished son, passed away.
Forrest was left feeling lost after his passing.
She wrote, “Ever since Henry was born, I had clung to routine and timetables in an attempt to have a sense of control over a situation that actually couldn’t be managed.
“So much of my routine went out the window” after he passed away.
So I set up one final habit for us without even recognizing what I was doing.
Forrest visited the funeral home to see Henry’s body during the week before his cremation. She paid him daily visits at 9:30 and 5:00.
“I would enter the room and sob, kiss his face and rub his hair, then lay my head next to his. Each time, I brought a different selection of books and toys. I would press the toy buttons and listen to the sounds, which I had already heard numerous times when he had done so.
Engel was first “hesitant” about how she handled her loss.
He wasn’t sure if participating in the ceremony I had devised would make me feel worse, but he came nonetheless. He understood the importance of having this opportunity to try to say his last goodbyes to Henry.
One day, Engel even joined Forrest to say goodbye to their kid at the funeral home.
“Grief causes you to act in a variety of strange ways. Because every impulse I had seemed entirely natural, it’s also possible that sadness causes us to act in ways that are most authentic to who we are.
One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard, perhaps. Yes, some people might find it strange, but as long as it aids in the grieving process, I feel it’s acceptable.
The Engel family is in my thoughts and prayers as they struggle to cope with the loss of their son.