Kathie Lee Gifford Details 'Crippling Loneliness' in Wake of Husband's Death

Kathie Lee Gifford recently spoke about the "crippling loneliness" she experiences in the wake of her husband's death.

Speaking to AARP The Magazine, Gifford opened up about her life. She specifically addressed how life has been for her since the deaths of both her husband, Frank Gifford (2015) and her mother, Joan Epstein (2017), as well as her children both moving away from home.

"You battle a lot of things when you get older, especially as a widow, when you lose a spouse. It dawned on me the other day, I'm a widow, I'm an orphan, because my mother also passed and I'm an empty nester all at the same time. If you're not careful, what you've lost in life can define you," she said.

"It's so much healthier to be defined by what you still have. I'm making big changes in my life because I need to, really big changes that are feeding my soul. Otherwise, despair sets in and loneliness can be crippling," Gifford went on to share.

"I didn't have to stay in this big house anymore," the Tv personality then added, referring to her Long Island, New York home. "I found myself dealing with crippling loneliness. I had to make moves and spiritual moves. You gotta make new memories or the old ones are going to kill you."

Gifford later went on to recall a sweet moment that she frequently shared with her late husband, which has become something much more bittersweet in recent years.

"Sunset used to be a huge thing in our family. Every day, no matter what, we'd yell, 'Sunset alert!' and we had to stop whatever we were doing, go out, and honor another day," she remembered. "And now I still say it out loud to the puppies. We still go out and do it, but sunset alerts are some of my saddest moments when it's just me and the dogs at home."

As far as her future is concerned, Gifford has announced that she will be exiting her hosting job on the fourth hour of Today.

"Maybe it is someone else's dream job," she said of the decision to leave the show. "But there was a more powerful dream within me that had yet to be fulfilled. All I ever wanted to do, from the time I was a little girl, was sing and be in movies."

"I'm not reinventing myself at all," Gifford continued. "I am evolving as an artist and a human being, and I will be till the day I die. People who think I'm a silly person do not know me at all. I'm 10 percent silly and 90 percent dead serious in my life."


It has been announced that fellow Today personality Jenna Bush Hager will be taking Gifford's chair as co-host with Hoda Kotb. Gifford's final episodes of Today will air in April.