Reba McEntire's mother, Jacqueline Smith, died on March 14, just before the coronavirus pandemic forced people around the country indoors into quarantine. During an interview with Hoda Kotb on the Today show last week, McEntire opened up about the days after her mother's passing, revealing that for her and her family, quarantine was actually a "huge blessing." The singer shared that she had been staying at her sister Susie and brother-in-law Mark's home for several weeks, where she and her siblings were able to be together to remember their mom.
"Susie and Mark were sweet enough to stay with them for the last two months. I was in Oklahoma, momma had just passed away the 14th of March, two months ago, and I had gone back after being there with her, I came home to do some rehearsals for the tour we didn't get to do, went back and we were going to plan the funeral, have it all ready to go and then quarantine started so we got to," McEntire recalled. "It was a true blessing, Hoda, it really was. I got to stay there at Mama’s house and help Susie and [McEntire's other siblings] Alice and Pake clean everything out. We had so many great times, going through drawers and boxes, we found pictures we’d never seen before, and we cried, we laughed, we toasted Mama. It was just an absolute, huge blessing to get to do that."
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McEntire's father, Clark, died in 2014, and she told Kotb that she had pictured her parents reuniting in heaven "thousands of times." "Friends who have parents, loved ones who've gone on, I picture them all up there together having a blast," she said. "That helps."
The Oklahoma native further discussed the quarantine when Kotb asked her to give advice to those who may be feeling "helpless" during this time. "They can always turn to God, have their faith really step up and take control and believe that there’s going to be a better day," McEntire said. "When you can, take this time to stop, smell the roses. Just reconfirm why you're here. And just take time for your family, your friends, just sit and breathe. We've been going so fast and furious for so long, I am so thankful for this quarantine time. My heart goes out to the folks who have been ill, who have lost loved ones, but it has been wonderful for me. To get to be with my little sister the way we were for the last two months, it's priceless. I've loved it, every minute of it."