It was with great sadness that we heard the news this morning of the passing of Emily Rapp’s son Ronan. Ronan suffered from Tay-Sachs, a genetic disease caused by the absence of a vital enzyme called Hex-A, which causes cells to become damaged, resulting in progressive neurological disorders. Rapp’s most recent book (and our Rumpus Book Club selection for this month), The Still Point of the Turning World, takes the reader through this experience, through what Cheryl Strayed described as “the way a woman loves a boy who will soon die.”

Emily has been a part of The Rumpus for a while now, having written for us three times over the last year, and we share her loss.

Emily Rapp posted the following on her Facebook page this morning: “In lieu of flowers or cards, please make a donation to the NTSAD – — in honor of Ronan as well as all the other children and their parents who have suffered from and continue to live with this disease. Thanks.”

We send you all our love, Emily.

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →