Stephen Colbert was hit with waves of grief when his kids turned 10, the same age he lost his dad, 2 brothers

Stephen Colbert shares his experience of grief on the new podcast All There Is With Anderson Cooper.
The 58-year-old late-night host, whose father and two brothers died in a plane crash in 1974, spoke to the CNN host about his philosophy of loss. Cooper, 55, who also witnessed the deaths of several family members, including his brother Carter by suicide in 1988, expressed that Colbert's belief - that it is possible to find "gratitude" in grief - was deeply moving.
Colbert shared, "I lost my father and my brothers Peter and Paul when I was 10. And that realization just came, you know, I'm close to middle age. As I literally walked down the street, I realized that I was grateful for the pain of that grief. It doesn't take away the pain. That doesn't make the sadness any less deep. In a way it makes it deeper because it allows you to look at it. It allows you to examine your grief in a way that, rather than holding embers in your hands, you see that pain as something that can warm you and illuminate your knowledge of what other people might be going through. Which is really just another way of saying that it's worth experiencing. Well, how does that turn into gratitude? That's the part that shocked me, so I can't tell you what makes you think that."
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Colbert shared that waves of concern about his own mortality would hit him hardest when his children were growing up.
"Since my father and brothers died when I was 10 when my children were younger, it hit me at unexpected moments," he explained. "In moments of great happiness, just like my daughter, like jumping off the swing set and landing in the right spot and being happy about it and running over and saying, 'Have you seen Daddy?' And, you you know hug me That moment of absolutely unspeakable joy. And she is 6, let's say in this memory. I'd say, 'Oh, isn't that great? Four more years!'"
Cooper and Colbert first came together to talk about grief in an interview on CNN in 2019, where Cooper asked The Colbert Report alum about his experiences with death. Colbert, who is a Catholic, said: “We are called to accept the world that God gives us and to accept it with love. If God is everywhere and God is in everything, then the world as it is is but an expression of God and His love, and you must accept it with gratitude."
In a previous podcast episode, Cooper - who is now a father of two - shared that he never wanted his sons to see the grief he often saw in his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, who was present when her son committed suicide died.
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"As the new parent of these two adorable, sweet and happy boys, I don't want them to ever see in me what I sometimes saw in my mother," he explained. "I don't want them to see shadows of loss and sadness hiding somewhere deep behind my eyes like I did with my mother. When my kids look me in the eyes, I want them to reflect my love back to them, and that's it. That's what I want them to see. I want them to feel that stability, that they are in good hands and that they are loved.”
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Stephen Colbert
American comedian

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