Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stephen Colbert - Grieving Son & Brother

I'm a huge fan of Stephen Colbert. He's a comedian who plays a political pundit on his show The Colbert Report. When he was 10 years old, his father and two of his brothers were killed in a plane crash. In this interview with Oprah, he talks about his experience, and it's so obvious to me that what he has to say about happiness vs. joy has been shaped by his early experience of painful loss.

Oprah says something about him not grieving his family members until he went to college, and he talks a bit about that. Shock is a such a huge component of grief, and with him being 10 years old at the time and it was the 70s, and with 8 other siblings to take care of and how traumatic the experience must have been for everyone in the family, there was probably nobody really available to help him with his grief. It's sad to think about.

I still tend to think it's not really possible to "not grieve". I just see grief as being a very individual thing that changes over time. It's going to look different when you're 10 to when you're 18. In 11 short months, my grief for Toren has changed and I have no expectations of what it will look like in a year or 5 years or 5 months or like Mr. Colbert, in 30 years. Where I'm at is where I'm at with it.

Anyway it's so good of him to share his experience. It would be great to see an unedited version of this conversation. It's not the same as losing a child but there is definitely common ground that people walk on the grief path.

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