Anyone who has emptied a loved one's house after a death or a move to a nursing home knows the unique melancholy it brings.
Scraps of paper, a song, or a piece of clothing can all send you down a rabbit hole of memories and bring on waves of grief.
That's some of what Anderson Cooper covers in his new podcast "All There Is." (https://apple.co/3SFbEPA)
The setting for the first episode is his late mother's New York City apartment, where Cooper is packing her things.
The task is daunting. Isn't it always?
His mother was Gloria Vanderbilt, a woman born into incredible wealth who made her mark in the fashion industry with her brand of women's jeans in the 1970s and 1980s. Vanderbilt saved everything, even mundane notes, saying, "I'll be back at 10." Cooper faced plowing through books, journals, thousands of Christmas cards and photos, telegrams from Frank Sinatra, and even the clothing Vanderbilt was wearing -- boxed and labeled -- when another son committed suicide in front of her years earlier.
He likens the process to an archeological dig.
It forces Cooper to face not just his mom's death but also the grief and loss of his brother and his father, who died when Cooper was young decades earlier.
Plus, he realizes he's the last living person in his small family and now the keeper of its memories.
The podcast is poignant and, at times, funny. Cooper sheds light on and articulates what many cope with when sifting through the remnants of a life.
"We don't talk about loss and grief very much, which is odd because they're among the most universal of human experiences. All of us will lose people we love," he says. "And yet, when you're the one grieving, it often feels like you're all alone."
"You're not" is just one of the podcast's takeaways.
Jason Gelios, SRES-Senior Real Estate Specialist, Author, Public Speaker, and Expert Media Contributor of real estate expertise across the globe.