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.