For many journalists covering the news cycle during the coronavirus pandemic, keeping composure can be difficult when the topics being covered are so harrowing. Anderson Cooper is the latest one to be moved to tears on-air during an emotional interview with the widow of a COVID-19 victim.
On his show, Cooper interviewed Katie Coelho, who lost her husband, Jonathan Coelho, on Wednesday from complications due to the coronavirus.
"It comes in waves," she told Cooper. "It's very surreal. I keep thinking in my head there's gonna be a time where I've been without my husband longer than I've been with him. It hurts a lot."
Cooper, who lost his dad during open heart surgery when he was 11, related to that feeling, adding, "I've reached that point a couple of times in my life, and it's a very strange feeling and I'm sorry that you're going to experience that."
Coelho explained how she met her husband and what their bond was built on. "He was just always my go-to person," she said. "He had an amazing way to make everyone feel safe and his smiles and his hugs made you feel really secure."
The 32-year-old was the sole provider for his wife, 10-month-old daughter Penelope, and 2-year-old son Braedyn, who suffers from "several medical complexities."
Coelho said her husband had told her, "You're my end game. This is it. I'm in this for good,“ after they started dating in 2011. "He was my best friend,” she told Cooper.
Following his death, Coelho, 33, discovered a note he had written to her the morning he died after his phone was returned to her. Cooper read some of his words on air, "I love you guys with all my heart and you've given me the best life I could have ever asked for."
Cooper struggled to hold back tears and was unable to continue reading, which prompted Coelho to interject, "It's OK. Jonathan's good with his words, huh?"
Coelho explained that she is trying to do her best for her children, but she is most upset for them because they will never really remember feeling their father's love.
"They don't know that they lost the greatest human being and they'll only know their dad through pictures and memories and videos," Coelho cried. "The worst part is they won't feel the love I felt for the last 10 years."
Cooper responded, saying, "The only thing I'm going to tell you is they will know him through you and the love you have for him. They will feel like they know him because I know you will tell stories about him as they grow up and for the rest of their lives."