Father sings 'Blackbird' to dying newborn son just days after wife passes away

ByRachel Schwartz KTRK logo
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Chris Picco and his son Lennon at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Chris Picco/Facebook

Chris Picco hopes the heartbreaking video of him singing to his dying newborn son will bring strength to others going through similar situations. Video of Picco singing the Beatles' "Blackbird" to his son Lennon is being shared across the world.

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Lennon was delivered via emergency C-section after his mother Ashley passed away in her sleep on Nov. 8. The premature newborn survived for four days but in the end, his father says the oxygen deprivation he suffered before his birth proved to be too much.

"Your whole life just changes in a moment," Picco said, speaking exclusively to ABC. "I knew that was going to happen with the birth of my son, I just didn't think it was going to be this soon. So it's just been unexplainable and just completely overwhelming and all encompassing and shattering."

Picco says he decided to bring his guitar into the NICU after recalling how Ashley would tell him how Lennon would move around in her belly while they listened to music. He felt that, as a musician, playing for his son was the one thing he felt like he could do at a time when he felt helpless.

"So I thought, I'm going to get my guitar; Ashley would want me to sing to my son and play to my son," he said.

He says over the course of two days, he sat and played and cried and sang at Lennon's side. It was a friend to took the video of Picco gently playing "Blackbird."

"It's a song I really love and I was looking to play songs that had kind of that melodic movement that might trigger something in him," Picco said.

It was also a song that as a Beatles fan, Picco hoped he would be able to play for Lennon as he grew up.

Picco and his wife had decided to name their son Lennon before she died.

"We both share a love for music," he said, laughing a bit as he spoke. "It kind of spoke to that musical element and also we didn't want, we were kind of looking for that little bit of uniqueness as well, but we didn't want to go too crazy like naming our baby after a fruit or vegetable or something."

A memorial service for Ashley and Lennon is being held this weekend in Southern California, where the family lives. A fund to cover the family's expenses has already raised over $60,000.

Photos used with permission.