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

Hundreds of wax figures find new life in Saanich man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

UPDATED: Hit and run results in damaged fire hydrant, flooding on Richmond Road

Registered owner issued $360 ticket, responsible for repair costs

Peninsula Eagles will host Midget T2 provincial championships

Provincial championships will take place at Panorama Recreation March 15 to 19

Saanich’s senior race car driver not slowing down

Bill Okell kicks off 2020 season at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California on Feb. 21

UVIC to host brain health presentation at IdeaFest 2020

Integrative Lifespan Lab will teach residents brain health for free at IdeaFest 2020

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Most Read