Monday, November 07, 2011

Anderson: How to Survive Loss with Gloria Vanderbilt

Today's show was all about surviving loss.

Anderson's first guest was his mom, Gloria Vanderbilt. They opened the conversation by sharing their personal loss stories ~

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Next was 12 year old Kyle and his family. Kyle lost his dad when he was 10, to brain cancer, and the family shared their story ~

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The next family lost their son to suicide ~

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Anderson read an e-mail they received after a previous episode, from a man whose life has been devastated by loss. He joined Anderson and Gloria on stage to talk about his grief ~

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Anderson welcomed Dr. Robin Smith, a psychologist, to the stage to answer questions and offer tips on dealing with grief ~

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For more clips and information from today's show, please visit andersoncooper.com by clicking on the hotlink below.

AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast
ANDERSON

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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gloira looks great for 87.
We should all look as trim and fit.
But this is not a fun show.
We know her tale and it is time to move on.
We've all suffered loss. It is part of life and if Anderson were true to his feelings, he'd stop using his mother for ratings.

ACAnderFan said...

I liked today's episode of 'Anderson'. I like Gloria and hearing what she has to say. Kyle seems older than 12, they way he spoke, most 12 year olds wouldn't be able to speak like that about their father. I like that his family cut up the father's stocking and made little hearts out of it. That was nice.

Global Voices - Minorit├ęs said...

Thank you very much for these clips. I found the one about "what not to say" very useful.
I would really like to see the programme on interracial couples ... do you think you can post it some days?
Cheers.

Sandra said...

Today's show was wonderful!!!! Although it made me cry several times, it's so touching! Thanks a lot for sharing those clips. As an overseas Anderson fan, I can only watch his show through this website. Many thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

While I thought today's show was better than some I've seen, IMO it would have been better without Gloria; and I like her. It's just she said nothing she hasn't said before and seemed to be trying to make the show more about her than the other families. She's certainly no expert on dealing with loss any more than I am. If Anderson wants to have his mom on the talk show, she needs to find a new topic. If he wanted to have her on this show, then give her 5 minutes to tell her story/bask in the attention and move on to the other guests.

I thought the psychologist had some very interesting things to say and would have much preferred her sitting next to Anderson and the families.

I feel bad for Anderson, because from listening to Gloria today, it sounds like she was too wrapped up in her own grief to help her child deal with his.

Kyle was amazing and his mom is to be congratulated on guiding him through the grieving process. I'm guessing Hospice was involved with that family.

The talk show missed a big opportunity IMO by not talking about Hospice and making people aware of the wide variety of services they offer. They offer many programs for families; to guide them through the death or a loved one and the grieving process for as long as people need.

Parker said...

@ anon. 10.52 PM

Appreciate where you are coming from, but I truly believe each person deals with the death of a loved one in very different ways. What may work for you, may not have necessarily worked for someone else.

To somehow suggest quote “Anderson should give her her 5 minutes to tell her story/bask in the attention and move on to other guests” as well as to suggest quote “she was too wrapped up in her own grief to help her child deal with his (Anderson’s)” is extremely callous of you. No mother should ever have to go through the agony of having to bury her own child, let alone having to watching him take his own life.

None of us will ever know what that family went through most especially Gloria, except for what’s been written about her over the years, and of Gloria herself sharing her own story of love and loss. Since her childhood, that woman has had to handle loss, death, sorrow and pain. By talking about it over and over, maybe she felt that was the only way she knew to cope, especially after Carter’s suicide.

God forbid had she gone after Carter as she for an instant thought about doing, but then thought of Anderson in that fleeting moment, how do you think Anderson would have coped and handled that?

Having been through death and the loss of loved ones multiple times since I was a young child, and then the death of my own Mother at a young age, after, having just immigrated to a new Country with not much of a support system to lean on, no one ever knows how they will handle or cope with the death of a loved one, no matter how many times you go through it in life.

Maybe, for Gloria, talking about Carter’s death over and over or sharing certain aspects of his life, was the only way she knew how to pull herself back on her feet and keep moving forward, and by keeping his memory alive. Unfortunately for Anderson, he wasn’t able to easily talk about his brother’s death as easily or as frequently with his mom, the way his mom was able to, and so he chose to go overseas.

Death and loss is a very complex issue, and each person handles it differently. I know for me, I wouldn’t allow myself to cry because I felt I had to be strong for my Dad. To this day I remember one person telling me every time I cried, my mother would be drowning in my tears, so I shouldn’t cry, and it wasn’t until several years later, I was in Church at a memorial mass for a friend who passed away overseas, I was sitting at the back of the church waiting for the Mass to start, and it all came flooding back. Not only did I cry for the loss of my friend, a friend who I had laughed with, dinned with, danced with and worked with, but a friend who had died a horrid death. And for over an hour and a half, throughout the Mass, I mourned the loss of my own mother, and my friend and the death of those I had witnessed since I was a child.

We all deal with death and loss in different ways. Who are we to judge how others mourn the loss of loved ones?

judy said...

10:52PM: You make several valid points.
I did not view the show, only the clips and while I do like seeing what Gloria is wearing, I too think that her loss has been publicized enough.
With Anderson, it is content, content,content, and no matter what the subject, none of it is ever dealt with in any depth.
Personally, I'd love to see another show devoted to Pets...something lite and joyful.

Anonymous said...

@Parker

I'm sorry for your loss and maybe I was a little too callous in my comments about Gloria. That said, I don't think it was appropriate for her to play the role of "grief counselor" on yesterday's show. Yes, she's experienced loss in her life and dealt with it in the best way she knew how, but that doesn't make her an expert on the subject.

I've dealt with my share of loss -both my parents, a dear brother-in-law, beloved grandmother and countless others throughout my life and suicide has been involved, too. I don't pretend to tell others how to grieve. I have a wonderful family and support system and we do share our feelings. We also watch out for each other and are sensitive to how each person deals with the shared loss; offering support at appropriate times.

I just felt that on yesterday's program Gloria tried to make it more about herself. There were several times she interrupted when others were sharing their stories and that bothered me.

I, also, should of made it clear that I was talking about Wyatt's death when I said I felt sorry for Anderson. Anderson's reaction to Kyle and previous writing about his childhood after the loss of his father were the basis for my comment.

What did you think of the show?

Tedi B said...

I haven't commented in a long time but I feel like I should now. Some of you (not all!!) are so NEGATIVE. I don't always love his talk show. Some of it is interesting and some of it I have learned from and some of it wasn't my cup of tea. It's okay not to like it, that's fine.

However, until you walk a mile in someone else's shoes stop judging them. NO ONE knows what Anderson or his mother went through OR what helps them. Gloria obviously feels better when she can talk about Carter and feels she can help people.

If Anderson wants to talk about that part of his life then so what?? I just hate to see people makes judgements about his or anyone else's motives about things. Personally, I find it tiring and sicking to hear all this crap over and over again on here.

Express all the opinions you want but why be so fricking judgemental about things you don't know the truth about?

Even if Anderson has bad motives for what he is doing then everyone has a choice to turn the TV off.

Maybe I'm the only one here who feels like this but most days I can't even read the comments. I like to come here to keep track of what Anderson is up to but it makes it harder and harder to enjoy it. I came in the comments today sort of hoping to see what people thought of some of the guests on the show like Toshi.

I lost my brother about a year and half ago and the show did mean something to me and what Gloria said also helped me. In the end, I believe (maybe wrongly so) that he has his mom on to help people...to say things to make it easier to cope with our losses in life and to help people like Toshi who wrote to her.

I guess I'm just an niave person who wants to believe the good in people. I know there are mean, evil and bad intentioned people out there but I don't have the energy to focus on all that stuff in life.

Sorry for my rant but I needed to vent.

Anonymous said...

This episode is one of the few I have watched. I have tried to watch some of the other shows, but do not find them interesting. However, I do like Gloria Vanderbilt, which is why I tuned in. I do find myself agreeing with both points of view expressed here. I do think that having Gloria on again discussing her loss and pain was done to some degree for ratings. However, I value her insights on coping with grief and loss. I would have liked to hear more from Toshi, from the psychologist, and from the family whose son died from suicide. I think these stories were short and not given enough time. The sister of the suicide victim only spoke once and was ignored during much of the segment. I noticed this difference between Anderson and Oprah: Oprah would go into great depth with her interviews. I feel disconnected quite often with his shows because it seems that he bounces around in the interviews at a furious pace. I felt more anxious at the end of this program than at the beginning. I wish him well, but his show simply does not speak to me right now.

Parker said...

Anon 12.02 PM

Again, appreciate where you are coming from, but for me, where I come from, the power of reaching out to someone who has suffered the loss of a loved one should by no means be deemed as quote “playing the role of "grief counselor" as you put it.

We all connect with people in different ways. I’ve learnt in my life, sometimes, the kindness of strangers, a shoulder to lean on, a compassionate ear, a helping hand – these gestures more often than not may never cost a dime, but may mean the world to someone else. You don’t have to be a grief counsellor to offer compassion to someone who’s hurting, and I believe that was what Gloria was trying to do.

When you see the world through someone else’s eyes, or take a moment to walk in someone else’s shoes through the heartache and pain, the meaning of compassion resonates differently. Maybe for me, it was seeing children die of starvation along the way, while mothers in desperation walk for miles and miles on end to the nearest refugee camp days away, in the hopes of maybe saving one child. Or maybe, having seen complete villages decimated during a civil war, while a 10 year old child loses all of his family except for his young infant sister, whom he now feels responsible to care for.

Maybe that’s why Toshii’s (the Japanese man), his story resonated with me just as much as Kyle or Carter’s did. Each story, each struggle of loss is different, yet has a common bond, a common bond of the need for compassion.

I’m glad you had the support of your family and friends after the loss of your loved ones. I pray that you never ever find yourself alone in your struggle of loss.

My only hope is that by God’s good grace, those who do not have that kind of support that you were so fortunate to have, find the compassion of a stranger as comforting as Toshii did.


@ Tedi – my heart goes out to you as well, having lost your brother a half ago, I hope you continue to find comfort in days like this. Don’t ever think of yourself as naive. You are just a half-glass-full kind of person who chooses compassion over scepticism. Honour his memory by reaching out. It’s the highest honour you could ever pay him, while continuing to keep his memory alive.

Anonymous said...

@4:48PM:
You are absolutely right.
The show doesn't speak to anyone in particular and I think we should stop comparing AC to Oprah.
From her silence, she doesn't appreciate the comparison and there Is none.
Most of Anderson's shows are, in a word, meaningless.
When you watched Oprah, she spoke to you.
When you watch Anderson,....you watch a handsome, rich, journalist, or whatever he feels like being that particular day.
Nothing more.

BEENTHEREDONETHAT said...

I read many comments posted and I felt the need to respond. I am not a grief counselor nor have any degree in the field of psychology. I am though a mother who lost my 19 year old daughter to Cancer. Had hospice in my home for her as well as both parents. I can tell youths I know beyond a shadow of doubt I am more knowledgable than any counselor out there in helping or giving advice on this topic. WHY? I have lived through it, with it and surrounded by others while 250 days at Sloan Kettering inpatient as well as The Ronald Mc Donald House. I would be honored to be on a panel with Gloria Vanderbilt ,or anyone else who can share to help others with their own life stories to help others. Believe me, you do not needa degree to understand grief or coping when you have to survive yourself after losing a child or loved one.