Stephen Colbert opens up about losing his dad and two brothers in a plane crash

Yahoo Entertainment

Thursday night's CNN interview exclusive with Anderson Cooper and Stephen Colbert took an emotional turn when Cooper asked The Late Show host about losing his father and two brothers as a child. Colbert, who was the youngest of 11 children, tragically lost his father and brothers in a plane crash at the age of 10.

On the subject of consoling someone that's experienced loss, Colbert made two suggestions, "One is to say: I'm sorry for your loss, which is a perfectly lovely thing to do. But if you can share your experience, then they're not alone."

The grief and loss discussion was personal for Anderson because he too lost his father, Wyatt Cooper, at the same age Colbert lost his father. Then years later, Anderson tragically lost his brother, Carter Cooper, to suicide. And his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, died this summer.

A visibly emotional Cooper asked Colbert if he still stands by his previous statement of: 'I love the thing that I most wish had not happened.'

Colbert explained what he meant by that statement. "At a young age, I suffered something so that by the time I was in serious relationships in my life, with friends or with my wife or my children, is that I understand that everybody is suffering. And however imperfectly, acknowledge their suffering," explained Colbert.

In the end, Colbert credited his Catholic faith for helping him find acceptance and gratitude. "We're asked 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 all just an expression of God and his love, and you have to accept it with gratitude."

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