The renowned journalist, 50, posted a touching photo of himself and his older sibling on Instagram Saturday — which happened to be the 29th anniversary of the Carter’s death.
“My brother Carter Cooper,” Anderson wrote in the caption to the black and white shot. “Jan 27, 1965 – July 22, 1988. Hard to believe it has been 29 years. He remains in my heart, golden and true.”
Carter was found dead in his mother Gloria Vanderbilt‘s 14th floor Manhattan apartment. His passing came ten years after the death of Carter and Anderson’s father, author Wyatt Cooper — a man Anderson and Vanderbilt described in their memoir, The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son Talk About Life, Love, and Loss, as the glue who held the family together.
In March 2016, Anderson and Vanderbilt, 93, opened up about Cooper’s death to PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle — saying they have yet to feel closure.
“The most terrible word in the English language, ‘closure,’ ” Vanderbilt said.
“It doesn’t exist. There’s no such thing,” added Anderson.
The tragic event cemented their bond, the two revealed. And though time has passed, the pain still feels like it happened yesterday, they said.
“I think it obviously brought us together in ways and I think you can’t help but come closer going through something like that, and, you know, it left us with each other,” said Anderson. “I think it’s still hard to believe it’s been so long because I think it’s still so present in our lives, that sense of loss.”
Anderson, a 60 Minutes contributor and anchor of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, also reflected on how his brother’s death affected his career choices – which in turn helped him make sense of his personal loss.
“I started going overseas and going to places where life and death was very real and where people were suffering tremendous losses. Hearing their stories and hearing people talk about it sort of helped me to get to a place where I could talk about it, I think,” he explained.
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The television journalist also painfully pondered the person his brother (who would have been 52 this year) might have become, and how their relationship could have deepened over the years.
“I think it’s hard for me to imagine,” Anderson said. “It’s stunning for me to think of how long ago it was that he died, that I’ve lived more of my life without him than I lived with him. That’s incomprehensible to me. He’s forever frozen in time.”
“When we were growing up, I used to imagine us being adults and being closer when we were adults and having families and kind of getting to know each other in a new way, and we never had that opportunity,” he continued.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).