Skip to content

Dear Ann,

This is wonderful, and worthy: Anderson Cooper’s podcast about the experience of grief and loss.

As I sometimes say, to shocked faces, “This is my subject!” It’s not that I enjoy thinking about grief and loss, but the grief and loss I have experienced has stayed with me, an uninvited companion, for years now. I don’t want to push it away or get over it; I think about it a lot, and not always in sadness. It’s wonder. Amazement that a person who was so alive, who was essential to me and to people dear to me, is no longer here. The amazement is accompanied by missing, longing, remembering, and wishing to describe the astonishing specificity of that person to someone who never met him. And another thing that is cause for wonderment: that life is still so good, in so many ways. It’s the big puzzle; I can never work it out.

I also wonder why people don’t talk about this more. The experience of death of a loved one is so common, and connects us to each other so deeply, yet much of what we hear and read about grief frames it as an ailment, something to move away from as quickly as possible.

Anderson Cooper gets it. He has experienced extraordinary grief and loss from an early age, most recently, the death of his mother at 95, in 2019. In the nine episodes of his new podcast, All There Is, Cooper interrogates these experiences, what they have meant to him and to the people he talks with: Stephen Colbert, Laurie Anderson, Molly Shannon, Elizabeth Alexander, and others. It’s really thoughtful, really good. And full of remembrances of astonishingly specific people.

I know you get it, too. I think you’ll like this podcast.

You might want to keep a pack of tissues handy.




  • Dear Kay…I get it. Every word rings true. I don’t know the details of your loss(es) but I understand, intimately, your experience of grief. Thank you for your beautiful articulation of it and for this podcast recommendation. I look forward to listening while knitting!

  • Thanks for sharing this. This is me too. Yesterday was my younger sister’s birthday. She would have been 58 except that she died almost 15 years ago. I still think about her a lot.

    • Thanks Kay
      I get it. Wow do I get it. Especially wanting to describe him to those who didn’t know him. And I thought I was the only one who felt that. Thanks for making it easy for me to feel how I feel.

      • Wow, to read this today , my brother-in-law lost his cancer battle last night . And It’s been 3 years since losing my daughter.

        • I hope my comment didn’t sound abrupt. I was meaning the timing of how things are put in your path to read when you mead it,( that kind of wow )

  • I lost my mom last year… I get it!

  • Yes, I get it too. And I’ve listened to the first 2 episodes about his Mother and I’ve heard him talk to Stephen Colbert. It is powerful and meaningful to me.

  • Thank you so much for this. Last Wednesday a young person in my family died in a car wreck. Just like that she was there and then she wasn’t there. Of course this isn’t my first brush with grief and I think about it A LOT. And the paradox that life is good….it is a puzzle. Thank you Kay, for your always thoughtful words.

    • Deepest sympathy and prayers for your family and you.

      • Thank you.

  • Grief, loss and pain – humanity includes all of that and thankfully much more to help us cope. Thank you for adds to our circle of support.

  • Because the memory is always with us, so in a way, they are, too.

    Well said Kay. Memories are a blessing, to paraphrase the saying. No matter how much times has past.

  • I listened to an interview from Late Night with Colbert, that was wonderful. Like both men I experienced loss at an early age and found much of what they said true for me as well. Looking forward to the podcast. Thanks!

  • Kay, This coming week will be my husband’s Yahrtzeit. He has been gone two years. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

  • Such a beautiful listen. My favorite bit is the voice mail from a listener who talks about how she thinks about grief as “holding it all gently”. I’m writing that one down!

  • How timely – in early November, the first two days of which: the All Saints’ Day and the All Souls’ Day are in Europe the days of remembrance of the departed. My dear Mother died in 1975, but I think of her and miss her every day. My stepmother told me that is because I feel sorry for myself… Thank you, Kay, for validation of my feelings and for the recommendation of this podcast!

  • Thank you. Your words on grief and loss are so true.

  • I get it too. The feelings of it all rushing back when you allow yourself to think about it. Wanting to talk about it but not wanting the questions. Struggling to protect and support the children. Glad to know about this podcast, thanks

  • I lost a nephew when he was seven, my sister’s child, and your words are so true to me. The amazement that he is gone, and the wonder that there is so much happiness still too be found.

  • There is something SO comforting in knowing that there are other people, like you, Kay, who GET IT! (I’ll definitely need a pack of tissues — reading your words and the words of those who commented already had me tearing up.)

  • Thank you, Kay. I recently lost a childhood/church choir/middle-high school friend. Going to her funeral with my husband and seeing the church packed with friends, church members, and family made me cherish the early memories we made growing up through our college years.
    I, too, have lost many family members over the years, but her death is the first close friend to go. Grief, shock, and disbelief come, but the celebration of her life goes on.

  • Yes. Exactly that. Yes. All of it. Yes. Thank you, Kay.

  • Loss is such a strange thing because it is both universal and private. When people talk about it, I’m always interested, as it can feel so taboo in certain situations and yet the only way to not make it taboo is to talk about it.
    I am a mental health professional and I have worked at the VA for 15 years. My patients’ losses were often traumatic and not very universal, the kinds of loss that can feel unspeakable for them. Killing someone in combat, or witnessing it, or having friends die in combat. A veteran in Vietnam bulldozing an area as instructed and having a child run in front of his bulldozer and die. A veteran still grieving his child who died before its first birthday over 40 years ago – it was a rare genetic disease and he has felt sure it was because of chemicals he was exposed to in service and therefore his fault. The grief of losing limb(s). How to hold these losses and still allow yourself to be joyous? Freedom to talk about it is undoubtedly helpful, so I’m very interested in his podcast.

  • I get it. Made me reflect; tear in my eye; ache in my heart. 21 years ago and still there. Thanks for the memory. I get it.❤️

  • The remembrance of those I have lost is dear to me, too. And I think one thing it does is make me cherish those who are left even more. We will all be gone someday, and the best I can do is be sure to hold those who exist in my world as lovingly as I can while they are here, and remember them when they are not.

  • Also, don’t miss the latest episode of the outstanding podcast Haptic and Hue, called Returning the Spirit of a Soldier. On point, fascinating and very moving.

  • So beautifully and perfectly felt and worded.Thank you! Planning to listen.

  • That feeling of continued amazement….you pegged it.

  • Beautifully said, Kay. Your words touch deeply and create a safe space for folks to be with their own experiences of grief. Your observation that life is still good in so many ways opened my eyes. It is truly one of life’s mysteries. It did, though, remind me of what Rumi once said: the soul exists for its own joy. Maybe that joy is the bottom line. Maybe grief is just one of the many paths that leads us to it.

  • I was missing my sisters today. It’s the unanswered longing of love and loss.

  • Beautifully said, Kay. Your words touch deeply and create a safe space for folks to be with their own experiences of grief. Your observation that life is still good in so many ways opened my eyes. It is truly one of life’s mysteries. It did, though, remind me of what Rumi said: the soul exists for its own joy. Maybe that joy is the bottom line. Maybe grief is just one of the many paths that leads us to it.

  • Thank you again Kay.

  • You never get over your grief over someone you have loved and lost. You learn that it is with you everyday and is absorbed into your being. You learn to live with your grief. It is not always painful once you accept that your love for this person still lives with you as much today as it always did. I lost my dearest Mom 35 years ago, while I was young, she still brings me a smile most days as I remember her and love her.

  • I get it. I too have grief and loss that have stayed with me for years. I don’t want to “get over it.” I don’t dwell on the losses. They just come. But I don’t push away the grief. There is no way around it, and going straight through is enlightening and helpful for me. I will listen to the podcast. Thank you.

  • What a great podcast. Thanks so much for the tip!

  • At 61, I’ve experienced the “usual and expected” losses of quite a few aging elders…and last year I finally surfaced and healed an early childhood loss that has powerfully driven my behavior in life, without me even consciously knowing about it. When I was 3 my parents tried adopting a little boy David, who was 2. He had some serious developmental problems that weren’t understood back then that involved seizures and not speaking, serious stuff and scary for his slightly older big sister. “Mom, dad, there’s something wrong with David, it’s happening again” echoes in the recesses of my being. After 11 months, they “gave him back” to the agency and didn’t complete the adoption as it was just too much. That early traumatic loss sparked in me a survival-level fear of being “given away” that showed up in ways subtle and obnoxious—but I finally feel like it’s healed to the point of a bittersweet memorable experience, not a subterranean sabotaging shock. And in a tender, satisfying way, I see that David has this been with me all along. This seems to be the nature of love and loss, the crux our human experience in all its poignancy, doesn’t it? I look forward to the podcast, Anderson Cooper is always thoughtful and kind. ❤️‍

  • I think of my grief like a sharp stone. At first, it’s so sharp and painful that every moment hurts. But over time, the edges are worn down. I can remember the person and the love we shared without pain. I’m at that point with grief for my father, who died twelve years ago. With my sister, who died of breast cancer not quite a year ago, the grief is still raw and piercing. I still can’t talk about her or think about her without tears. (October this year was rough, every pink ribbon a reminder.)

  • I love you.

  • I saw his interview on Colbert and it took my breath away. What he says about being “the last one left” and the responsibility we feel. He calls us “the lighthouse keepers,” the ones who keep the light lit for those who didn’t know our loved ones, who didn’t grow up with the stories, our need to keep their memories alive. I am the last one, the baby, of our small original family. I am living, newly, exactly what Anderson described. When I’m ready, i want to listen to his podcast. I’ve always loved him, now even more so.

My Cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping