A dejected and sad Anderson Cooper watched as his mother's coffin was taken from an Upper East Side funeral home and loaded into a hearse before her funeral service.
The CNN moderator was joined by his ex-boyfriend Ben Maisani, who at the start of the day, just over a year after Cooper announced that he had parted company with his partner for almost ten years, was preparing the funeral arrangements for Gloria Vanderbilt had taken care of.
Also present was Julio Cesar Recio, who was with Cooper from 2004 to 2009, the same year he met Maisani.
However, the two sons of Vanderbilt were not seen from their second marriage to the conductor Leopold Stokowski: Leopold Stanislaus & # 39; Stan & # 39; Stokowski and Christopher Stokowski.
Cooper had talked about this day in the past and in a heartbreaking passage from his memoir, "My father died in 1978 when I was ten; and my brother Carter killed himself in 1988 when I was twenty-one. So my mother is the last person left by my immediate family, the last person alive and close to me when I was a kid. & # 39;
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Orphaned: Anderson Cooper (watching funeral home burglars load his mother's coffin into a hearse) watched as his mother Gloria Vanderbilt was executed in her coffin on Tuesday before her funeral
Reunification: He was assisted by his ex Ben Maisani (above), just over a year after he announced that they had split up
Tough day: Vanderbilt, who died of stomach cancer on Monday at the age of 95, was the only member of Cooper's immediate family that was alive (Maisani left, Cooper right, and Cooper's former partner Julio Cesar Recio in the middle).
Devastating loss: Vanderbilt is survived by at least two grandchildren, a grandson and two great grandchildren (with Cooper on the left, her gravestone on the right)
Vanderbilt and her eldest son Stan, 68, had a close relationship, but that was not the case with Christopher, 67, who had been estranged from his mother for over four decades.
My father died in 1978 when I was ten years old; and my brother Carter killed himself in 1988 when I was twenty-one. So my mother is the last person left by my immediate family, the last person alive and close to me when I was a kid.
-Anderson Cooper in his 2017 memoir
In addition to her three sons survive in Vanderbilt at least two granddaughters, a grandson and two great-grandchildren.
Vanderbilt's youngest son, 52-year-old Cooper, began talking to his brother two years ago after he and his mother published their memoirs The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and a Son on Life, Love and Loss.
This book was mainly about Vanderbilt's third child, Cooper's brother Carter, who jumped from the balcony of the Manhattan apartment block in 1988 at the age of 23 and killed himself.
Vanderbilt, who died on Monday at the age of 95, appeared in the same year with Cooper in the HBO documentary Nothing Left Unsaid.
Cooper paid tribute to his mother on Tuesday in two poignant social media posts, first on his own account and later on his mother's Instagram page.
& # 39; In her last week, my mother liked that I watch a video on YouTube by Peggy Lee entitled "Is That All Their Is?" We would hold hands and sing the chorus and pretend to dance, "Cooper wrote.
"Is that all there is, is that all there is? If all that my friends have, then let us keep dancing, let's break the liquor and have a ball, if that's all there is. "& # 39;
He continued, "My mother would giggle singing," it's so wonderful … "she said with a sound of joy and misery, knowing that she was about to find out if that really was all it was gives. & # 39;
Vanderbilt is buried next to her fourth husband Wyatt, who died in 1978, and her son Carter on the Vanderbilt family property in Staten Island.
She and Cooper watched her attend the conspiracy in her HBO documentary, in which Vanderbilt spoke much more about her deceased son than about Cooper.
"I like to talk about him. It brings him alive, it brings him close. It helps me to share how I felt for him, how I felt about him, "she said in 2017 when she appeared on CBS Sunday morning.
Support system: Maisani and Recio (above) stuck to Cooper's side as he prepared to bury his mother
Family: She is buried along with her fourth husband Wyatt and her son Carter on the family estate of Vanderbilt in their hometown of Staten Island (the Coopers in 1972).
Cooper said he had a different reaction to all this and was struggling to cope with the loss of his brother and father.
"For me, it certainly has changed who I was," he explained in the same interview.
In her last week, my mother liked me watching a video from Peggy Lee on YouTube entitled "Is That All Their Is?" We would hold hands and sing the chorus and pretend to dance. If that's all there is, is that all there is, if all that's there are my friends, let's keep dancing, let's break the liquor and have a ball, if that's all there. " My mother would chuckle singing, "It's so wonderful …" she said with a sound of joy and misery, knowing that she was about to find out if that really is all there is.
"I think the person I was before was much more interesting and open-minded. I probably became much more introverted and very worried about what disaster would happen next.
"And it has made me much more of an adult."
Vanderbilt also paid tribute to her son on Instagram in 2018.
"Thirty years ago, I lost Carter Cooper before my eyes. My son. My life. My hope, "wrote Vanderbilt.
In the past few years, his brother, my beloved Anderson, was with me and gave me love and strength. Carter is as close and alive to me as he was from the beginning and as he always will be. & # 39;
In an excerpt from her memoirs, Cooper writes that he and his team were already on a business trip in 2015, when he called his mother shortly before leaving to tell her that he would be absent and work abroad.
& # 39; When she picked up the phone, I immediately knew something was wrong. Her breath was short and she could barely speak, "Cooper writes.
Vanderbilt was ill for the next few months and was suffering from a respiratory infection. "I'd like to have a few more years left. There are still things I would like to create, and I am very excited about how everything develops. What will happen next? & # 39;
Divisions: Cooper and Maisani left Greenwich Village's fire station, where the CNN host lived in March 2018, just hours before announcing their breakup
Start: Cooper and Recio 2004 at Diane Von Furstenberg's fashion show in NYC (above)
Son: Vanderbilt's eldest son Stan (above with wife Emily in 2012) was not seen on Cooper on Tuesday
Shortly thereafter, they began working on the memoirs that they wrote over the course of a year in a series of e-mail exchanges.
"I did not want anything between my mother and me to be unsaid, and on her ninety-first birthday, I decided to start a new kind of conversation with her, a conversation about her life," Cooper writes.
"Not the profane details, but the things that are really important, their experiences that I knew nothing about or that I do not fully understand."
He also talked about the connection he had with his mother.
We have never had a relationship that would be considered conventional. My mother was not the kind of parent that would ask you for practical advice about school or work.
"What she knows is a hard-earned truth, and you only discover such things when you lead an epic life full of love and loss, tragedies and triumphs, great dreams and deep grief."
When asked about her mortality in this 2017 CBS interview, Vanderbilt said that she "did not necessarily" reach the end of her life. "Well, I think something wonderful will happen – maybe tomorrow? And I think maybe sooner! & # 39;
Cooper then remarked; "Yes, my mother is the most youthful and optimistic person I know. She still believes that someone is waiting on a boat in southern France. "
Vanderbilt interrupted him to say a yacht instead of a boat to which Cooper then said; & # 39; A yacht! For her or around the corner, there will be an incredible new experience, and she will make me believe it. & # 39;
Cooper also said that searching through some of his mother's belongings, from photographs to love letters she kept over the years, made him work on the memoirs and documentaries.
When asked why she chose to keep these things, Vanderbilt said; "I think everyone should, because it gives you a frame of reference. And it gives me the feeling of knowing who I was back then, who I became, who I am now.
"It gives you a sense of time and a feeling for your own story."
Process of the Century: The custody dispute over Gloria and her $ 4 million legacy was publicly staged in 1934 and given her the nickname "poor little rich girl" in the press
Early start: Vanderbilt was only 17 years old when she married her first husband, agent and film producer Pat DiCicco (above, 1941)
Men from Hollywood: Vanderbilt was associated with Frank Sinatra after her second marriage failed (pair left 1954) and later Sidney Lumet married (right in the 1960s)
Cooper summed up his mother's life at the beginning of the memoir as follows: "My mother has been famous for a while longer than anybody else alive today. Her birth made headlines and for good or bad she has since been known to the public.
"Her successes and failures have taken place on a brightly lit stage, and she has led many different lives. She was an actress, artist, designer and writer. she made fortunes, lost them, and brought her back. & # 39;
He went on to write, "She has survived abuse, the loss of her parents, the death of a spouse, the suicide of a son and countless other traumas and betrayals that could have defeated someone without their relentless determination."
The two corresponded by e-mail as they worked on the memoirs, and Cooper revealed that the two ended up with much more than just a book.
"I know now that it is never too late to change the relationship with someone who is important in your life: a parent, a child, a lover, a friend. All it takes is a willingness to be honest and throw off your old skin, let go of the long-standing assumptions and problems you still hold on to, "he wrote.
"I hope the following will encourage you to think about your own relationships and maybe help you start a new kind of conversation with someone you love."
Cooper then asked, "After all, if not now, when?"