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

Saanich roads doused in more than 300 tonnes of salt during snowstorm

Crews cleared roads around the clock during the mid-January storm

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Funds raised through off-road cycling event will help improve Central Saanich bike trails

Tripleshot Cycling Club presents $3,000 cheque to Nature Trails Society

‘We thought it was an earthquake,’ homeowners okay after tree falls

Mature tree falls on roof of Victoria Avenue house

VIDEO: The Victoria byelection leads a selection of today’s news stories

A selection of Greater Victoria top stories for Jan. 17

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read