Kathie Lee Gifford Opens Up About The Painful Loneliness She Dealt With After Passing Of Husband Frank

'The loneliness was crippling,' Gifford said, following her husband's death.

Kathie Lee Gifford speaks on stage.
Terry Wyatt / Getty Images

'The loneliness was crippling,' Gifford said, following her husband's death.

Kathie Lee Gifford retired last year, after co-hosting the fourth hour of The Today Show alongside Hoda Kotb for many years. On Thursday, she returned to the show to speak candidly with Kotb and new co-host Jenna Bush Hager about some darkness she has been battling in recent years. Gifford was dealing with loneliness that was so painful she knew she had to make a change, according to Today.

Gifford’s husband, Frank Gifford, passed away in 2015 at 84-years-old. In time, her two children — Cassidy and Cody — grew up and left home. Both of her parents had passed away. She looked around and realized she was completely alone.

“Then it came to feel like a mortuary with me just there alone. And I said I need to make a new life for myself or this one’s gonna kill me. The loneliness was crippling. It was crippling,” she recalled.

While Gifford’s mornings at work with Kotb were filled with lots of joy and laughter, she would later have to return to an empty home. She started to think about how to create a happier life for herself and eventually decided to move. She wanted to make new memories so she didn’t find herself constantly missing the old times.

Now she lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is pursuing other projects and doing much better. She told the hosts she is looking ahead at 2020 with excitement, as she will get to celebrate both of her children’s weddings, as well as see Kotb marry her longtime partner, Joel Schiffman.

“It’s life, it’s like the thing I was talking about before. You can’t concentrate on what you’ve lost. You will lose whatever life you have left if you do that. It’ll eat you alive,” Gifford said of how she has come to find peace.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, Gifford teased her return appearance on The Today Show with a stunning photo of herself poised in a makeup chair on Instagram. There was no denying she looked great, wearing a stylish blazer, tight fitting jeans, a gold scarf, and high-heel boots. She wore her blond hair down in loose waves and had on a full face of makeup. The post quickly racked up over 18,000 likes.

The Today Show fans were excited to see Gifford and Kotb reunited after a long time apart.

“Yay!! I’ll be sure and watch today!! Really miss you and Hoda together,” one person commented excitedly.