As close friends gathered to pay their respects to the great director Mike Nichols and his grieving widow, Diane Sawyer, many noted the journalist was enduring a dual tragedy.

Just a few weeks before her adored husband Mike died in his sleep at 83, her 94-year-old mother, Jean Sawyer Hayes, passed away in her hometown of Louisville, Ky., after a long illness.

diane sawyer & mike nichols

Diane and Mike in October 2014.

“Losing Mike when she was still grieving over her mother is just an incredible emotional toll,” a friend tells ‘Closer.’ “But Diane is holding up as well as you could hope for.”

Related Story: ‘She Was a Pioneering Spirit’: Diane Sawyer Pays Tribute to Her Late Mother

Thankfully, Diane has many good friends and family members (including Mike’s children, Daisy, 50, Max, 40, and Jenny 37) to lean on.

“This is the time when you want to draw the wagons close with your inner circle,” Kathie Lee Gifford, who’s known Diane for decades, tells ‘Closer.’

diane sawyer & kathie lee gifford & barbara walters

Diane with friends Kathie Lee and Barbara Walters in 1995.

Diane’s ABC co-workers hope to welcome her back as soon as she’s ready.

“Working hard is going to be part of her healing process,” says her friend. “When you’re feeling all alone in the world, being surrounded by colleagues and working on a big story is going to be good for her.”

To read the full story on Diane pick up the new issue of ‘Closer Weekly,’ on newsstands now!