A little over a year after she lost her son to suicide, Delilah is opening up about the painful experience.
In a new interview with Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts, the radio star — known for offering life advice to her 8.3 million late-night listeners — says she hopes her new book, One Heart at a Time, will help advance the conversation around suicide.
“I couldn’t at first — I couldn’t write, I couldn’t talk about it,” she says of her 18-year-old son Zack’s death on Oct. 3, 2017.
“But I do want parents to know,” she continues. “We need to talk about teenage suicide. We need to start having open conversations, as painful as they are, because it’s epidemic.”
Delilah, 58, says she “would not be standing if it were not for the prayers of my friends, my family and my listeners.”
“So many listeners sent the most beautiful thoughts and prayers and shared their own stories of loss and grief and what helped them get through,” she says. “It’s been hard but I can still say I’m the most blessed woman I know.”
Still, she struggles to cope with the loss and says “nights are the worst.”
“I finish the show and that’s when it hits,” she says. “Because that was our time together. My son was a night owl.”
RELATED VIDEO: Delilah Opens Up About Son’s Suicide and Heartbreaking Goodbye Note
Speaking to PEOPLE last year, the mom of 13 said Zack was her “wild child.” (He’s one of her three biological children; the other 10 were welcomed through adoption.)
“Thirteen broken bones, umpteen trips to the hospital with appendicitis, tonsillitis, a fractured skull. He was wild but so so so sweet,” she said. “He was a faithful friend to the outcast and the troubled. Dozens of his friends have written to me and told me he was like a counselor to them.”
She also opened up about the heartbreaking message her son left behind: “His goodbye note did not mention sadness, anger, angst or depression,” she said. “Just a pressing madness about feeling like this world was not his home.”
One Heart at a Time is out nationwide today.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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