Father Sings "Blackbird" to Dying Son
Grieving Father Sings to Newborn Baby After His Pregnant Wife Unexpectedly Dies
Chris Picco met his future wife, Ashley, while they were both volunteering in the relief effort at New York City's Ground Zero. Months after 9/11, the teenagers each wanted to help others in a time of darkness — a passion that continued until Ashley's last days. On Nov. 8, the pregnant 30-year-old tragically passed away in her sleep, leaving behind her loving husband and a son who was delivered via emergency C-section. Lennon James Picco was due in late February 2015 but clung to life in spite of his tragic early delivery.
During this time of unspeakable loss, Chris chose to celebrate his newborn son's life — something he believed would be important to his departed wife. Ashley had spent her adult life working as a nurse who counseled young mothers, and Chris knew that she would want him to focus on baby Lennon instead of grieving. As a talented musician, the new father decided to bond with his ailing son the best way he knew how: through song. Toting a guitar into Loma Linda University Hospital's NICU ward, Chris serenaded his baby with this tearjerking rendition of Ashley's favorite song, The Beatles' "Blackbird."
Despite his family's devotion and support, Lennon passed away after four short days of life. His father shared this message with the multitudes of well-wishers on a memorial Facebook page:
"Dear friends, family, and supporters; it is with an unbelievably heavy heart that I write this. My little fighter, Lennon James Picco went to sleep in his daddy's arms late last night. He was surrounded by family, friends, and the best doctors, nurses and hospital staff in the world. He was dressed in an outfit that Ashley bought for him, with little guitars on it, and wrapped in a blanket made by a dear friend. I am so thankful for the four unforgettable days I got to spend with him. His mommy would have been so beyond joy to see him and to hold him, touch him, bathe him, sing to him — as I have had the privilege of doing. I have been so blessed and honored to love him before he was formed, to cherish him while mommy carried him, meet him face to precious face, and hold his perfect little body while we said 'goodbye for now.' There are no words, but I wanted to keep you updated, as your love and support has meant more than anything in the world. All you need is love."
While words cannot express the gravity of the Picco family's loss, a memorial has been set up in Ashley and Lennon's honor. After his song was shared worldwide, thousands of supporters have used the page to donate funds and share kind words for Chris.