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Stephen Colbert is sharing his experiences with grief on a new podcast Everything is with Anderson Cooper.
The late-night host, 58, whose father and two brothers died in a plane crash in 1974, spoke to the CNN anchor about his vision of the loss. Cooper, 55, who has experienced the death of several family members, including her brother Carter, by suicide in 1988, expressed that Colbert’s belief — that it is possible to find “gratitude” in grief — ran deep.
Colbert shared, “I lost my father and my brothers, Peter and Paul, when I was 10. And that realization didn’t come until, you know, I’m on the cusp of middle age. Literally walking down the street, I was struck by the realization that I am grateful for the pain of that suffering. It doesn’t take away the pain. It doesn’t make the pain any less profound. In some ways, it makes it deeper, because It allows you to see it. It allows you to examine your pain in a way that’s not like holding a red hot grape in your hands, but seeing that pain as something that warms you. can and can illuminate your knowledge of what other people are going through. Which is really another way of saying that there is a value in experiencing it. Now, how does that gratitude become? That part of it. is what baffled me, so I can’t tell you how to approach it.”
Colbert shared that the waves of anxiety over his own mortality would affect him the most as his children were growing up.
“From my father, my brothers died when I was 10, when my children were young, it would hit me at unexpected moments,” he explained. “In moments of great joy, like my daughter too, like jumping off the swing at the right point and landing and cheering and running and saying, ‘Did you see Daddy?’ And, you know, hugging me. That moment that’s just incredibly transporting joy. And that’s 6, let’s say in this memory. I’ll be like, ‘Oh, isn’t that great? Four more years!’ “
Cooper and Colbert first came together to discuss grief in a 2019 interview on CNN, where Cooper asked The Colbert Report Elm about his experiences with death. Colbert, who is Catholic, said, “We are called to accept the world that God gives us and to accept it with love. If God is everywhere, and God is in everything, then this world as it is is only an expression of God and His love, and you have to accept it with gratitude.”
In an earlier podcast episode, Cooper — now a father of two — shared that he never wanted his sons to see the pain he often saw reflected in his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, who was present when his The son died by suicide.
“As a new parent to these two sweet, sweet and joyful boys, I don’t want them to ever see in me what I sometimes saw in my mother,” she explained. “I don’t want them to see shadows of loss and grief hidden somewhere behind my eyes like I did with my mother. When my children look into my eyes I want them to reflect back my love for them, and that’s it. That’s what I want them to see. I want them to feel stability, to know that they are in good hands and to know that they are loved.
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Stephen Colbert opens up about grief to Anderson Cooper
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