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)

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

Sheriff Avory Chapman was last seen Jan. 20 on Wellington Avenue in Chilliwack. (RCMP)
RCMP look for missing man last seen in downtown Chilliwack

21-year-old Sheriff Avory Chapman has been missing since Jan. 20

A worker is seen throwing a chicken in an undercover video in 2017 filmed by California-based animal rights activists Mercy For Animals.
Fraser Valley chicken abuse trial delayed until February

Originally scheduled for a jury trial, Sofina and Chilliwack company now face judge alone

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual interference in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Recently elected NDP MLA Kelli Paddon is funding three $500 scholarships for students demonstrating a commitment to equity and social change. (Black Press file photo)
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon funding Equity and Social Change Scholarships

One of the scholarships is open to any graduating student in the Chilliwack-Kent electoral district

Richard Procee is one of four candidates in the Feb. 13, 2021 Chilliwack school board byelection. Here, he poses at his store in 2017. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
VIDEO: Byelection candidate Richard Procee hopes to ‘introduce good conversation’ to Chilliwack school board

Procee discusses his involvement with his church, views on SOGI 123 and politics

Rose Sawka, 91, waves to her son through the window of a care home in Prince Rupert in October. Residents of the care home received their first vaccine dose Jan. 20. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)
B.C. care home visitor access to expand by March, Dix says

Staff, residents, essential visitors top priorities for vaccine

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Most Read