Anderson Cooper interviewed Stephen Colbert this week, and while they talked about a lot of politics and whatnot, what’s catching our eye is the remarkable vulnerability they both displayed when the conversation turned to grief.
Neither of them are strangers to loss, and there’s a moment here where they both bring to the surface the suffering that they’ve experienced in experiencing the death of loved ones. Cooper’s mother died just a few months ago, and his older brother died by suicide when Cooper was 21. Colbert grew up as the youngest of 11 kids, and when he was 10, an airplane crash killed his father and the two brothers who were closest to him in age. Colbert’s mother died six years ago at the age of 92.
Colbert flashes his inner LOR geek here, but puts it to good use as a way to illuminate the human condition (as all good literature does). He’s found a way to be grateful for life — all of it, suffering included — and it’s evident that this gratitude has led him to freedom, authenticity, and the ability to love more deeply.
It’s a profound conversation — watch the whole exchange on Cooper’s Twitter feed:
You said “what punishment of gods are not gifts. Do you really believe that?” @andersoncooper, choking back tears, asks Stephen Colbert, as they discuss grief.
“Yes,” replies the comedian. “It’s a gift to exist and with existence comes suffering. There’s no escaping that.” pic.twitter.com/p5rUUhZKxq
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) August 16, 2019