Host Anderson Cooper attends the 12th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in New York. Meanwhile, Stephen Colbert attends the 36th Annual PaleyFest “An Evening with Stephen Colbert” at the Dolby Theatre on Saturday, March 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Associated Press photos)

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Footage of comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper discussing grief has gone viral, with many hailing the pair for their real and raw exchange.

The conversation was part of a recent showing of Anderson Cooper 360°, which aired Thursday, and was later tweeted from the show’s official account. As of Saturday morning, the clip had been viewed eight million times.

Sitting across from each other on the set of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the portion of the segment posted online begins with Cooper reading a comment made by Colbert in a previous interview.

“You told the interviewer that you have learned to, in your words, ‘love the things that I wish had not happened,” Cooper says.

Choking back tears, Cooper continues: “You went on to say, ‘what punishments of gods are not gifts.’ Do you really believe that?”

READ MORE: B.C. artist’s painted memorial bench proves controversial in Vancouver

READ MORE: 5 tips for self-care, mental wellness through the holidays

The Washington, D.C.-born comedian simply replies with a “yes,” adding that “it’s a gift to exist and with existence comes suffering. There’s no escaping that.”

The two TV personalities both suffered loss early in life. Colbert’s father and two of his brothers were killed in a plane crash in 1974, when he was aged 10.

Cooper was also 10 years old when his father died of a heart attack. When he was 21 years old, Cooper’s brother died by suicide.

Colbert goes on to clarify that his view on loss is a paraphrase of a quote originating from J.R.R. Tolkien in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ – a series of novels Colbert read as a young boy.

The rest of the segment includes the pair discussing what Colbert calls the “normal grief” he felt alongside his eight siblings after his mother died at the age of 92.

“It might seem selfish to want more of someone you’ve known so long, but it merely amplifies the enormity of the room whose door is now so quietly shut – like you can’t ever open that door again,” he says.

“But on top of that we realize, ‘oh, now we also lost dad and the boys. In some ways we were here for her because of the loss of her husband and her children, and when she went she kind of took them with her,” he continues, adding that his mother’s death led him to re-grieve.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nearly 20 individuals accessed LRCA’s cold weather shelter during 2020 snowstorm

Most individuals accessed the shelter for food, showers, laundry, and to warm up

Shoot the Moon pub passes public hearing stage

Rod Alsop and Jon Ludtke’s proposed pub is one step closer after a packed public hearing

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP visits Wet’suwet’en camps, calls for Coastal GasLink pipeline to be ‘revisited’

Paul Manly met with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and the RCMP to talk about the ongoing situation

BREAKING: LSS evacuated after reports of ‘gas smell’

Students were evacuated to Frank Jameson Community Centre, but have since returned to class

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Chemainus River

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read