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Anderson Cooper, Mom Gloria Vanderbilt Discuss His Brother's Suicide

USMagazine, Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 5:02pm (PDT)

Time doesn't necessarily heal all wounds.

On Tuesday's episode of Anderson Cooper's eponymous talk show, the journalist and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, opened up about the suicide of Anderson's brother Carter Vanderbilt Cooper in 1988.

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"I still run through [the day Carter died]," the heiress, 87, said. "He did not jump. He was sitting on the [balcony] wall with one foot on and one hanging over, and he kept looking down. I kept begging him [to come back]."

When Carter, then 23, let go and fell the 13 floors to his death, Vanderbilt had "a moment where I thought I was going to jump after him. But then I thought of [Anderson] and it stopped me from doing that."

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In 1997, Vanderbilt wrote the book A Mother's Story, in which she describes Carter's suicide as being a psychotic episode induced by an allergic reaction to a prescription drug. In a 2005 CNN article, Cooper described countless people telling him his brother "was the last person" they thought would ever commit suicide.

"There's this word closure," Vanderbilt said. "And there is never closure on something that happens like this."

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Cooper, 44, held back tears as he echoed his mother's sentiments. [Closure] is like a TV word," he said.

Vanderbilt agreed with her son, adding, "You never, ever get over it, but you learn to live with it."

If you think you or a loved one are in an emotional or suicidal crisis, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline online, or call 800.273.TALK.

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