Zach Sobiech, 18, singer of “Clouds,” dies

Zach Sobiech and his parents, Rob and Laura, parishioners at the Church of St. Michael in Stillwater, Minn., are pictured at their home April 24. (CNS/Dave Hrbacek)

Zach Sobiech and his parents, Rob and Laura, parishioners at the Church of St. Michael in Stillwater, Minn., are pictured at their home April 24. (CNS/Dave Hrbacek)

A couple of weeks ago, Catholic News Service ran a story of a young Minnesota man, Zach Sobiech, and the prayerful devotion of his family as he endured the final stages of osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

Zach, 18, died May 20 at his family home in Stillwater.

His parents, Laura and Rob, members of the Church of St. Michael, were at Zach’s side at his death. He also is survived by his siblings Alli , Sam and Grace.

The story by Dave Hrbacek of The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, told of how Laura understood the feelings Mary had as she stood at the cross watching Jesus, her beloved son, die.

“Identifying with Mary’s suffering has been huge,” Laura told Hrbacek. “To meditate from her point of view, watching her son suffer, has just really brought me peace and shown me how to do it. … Mary was there for the whole thing, and there was nothing she could really do but be there.”

In December, Zach produced and released “Clouds,” a song about facing death. It’s been a viral hit on YouTube, with more than 4.7 million views. It climbed to the top of the iTunes chart after his death.

Numerous celebrities, including Ashley Tisdale, Colbie Caillat, Chris Pratt, Anna Faris, Jason Mraz, Sara  Bareilles, Jenna Fischer, The Lumineers, Rachel Bilson, Ed Helms and Phillip Phillips then joined in with their own video tribute to Zach.

Zach also decided to help kids with cancer through the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. The family has started the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund to accept memorial contributions.

The Sobiech family’s faith in God and strength to endure the unthinkable serves as an inspiring example for all of us facing difficult challenges in everyday life. Despite the sorrow they have felt since Zach’s diagnosis in November 2009 at age 14, the Sobiech family now knows he is with God.

May he rest in peace.

5 Responses

  1. A teenage male die last week in Ireland who was a powerful witness against the current rise of young adult suicides. The government is advancing abortion for suicide, against all professional medical advice. We need these brave witnesses here and as intercessors I heaven.

  2. We need, alot of “Honest To God – PRAYERS” that will reach way high up and into the heavens to our Fathers ears.+.
    A United (Prayer) Front.

  3. Thanks for sharing the Catholic part of this story getting so much press in the MSM. What a wonderful witness of faith by this family in such trying times. Great and inspiring examples for the rest of us.

  4. May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace, amen.

  5. On behalf of the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, we’d love your support in getting the word out about Zach’s dying wish to help other kids with cancer through this Fund he set up with Children’s Cancer Research Fund. For more information about Zach Sobiech and his charity, please visit http://www.ChildrensCancer.org/Zach. To download Clouds or his album Fix Me Up, please visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fix-me-up-feat.-zach-sobiech/id603389901.

    Thank you for helping us build Zach’s inspirational legacy of hope and optimism.

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