Hoda Kotb Says Kathie Lee Gifford ‘Spent Most of Her Time Comforting Others’ After Husband’s Death
She’s so strong! When Kathie Lee Gifford‘s husband of 29 years, Frank Gifford, died from natural causes in 2015, she didn’t wait for people to comfort her and ask her if she was alright. Instead, the 65-year-old journalist checked up on all of her closest friends and family members first to see if they were OK.
“I didn’t panic at all. I had what the Bible calls ‘the peace that passes understanding’ from the moment I found my husband on the floor that Sunday morning, August 9, 2015,” she recently recalled about finding Frank’s body with his mouth wide open to People. “It was Hoda’s birthday and it was a beautiful Sunday morning, and I found my husband. I knew he saw Jesus and Jesus took his breath away. He was at peace. He was in a better place.”
After Kathie Lee’s loved ones found out that her husband died, she immediately began comforting them. “She spent most of her time comforting others that day,” her Today cohost Hoda Kotb remembered. “I was crying and she said, ‘It’s going to be fine.’”
Losing Frank made Hoda, 54, realize just how strong Kathie Lee really is. “Kathie Lee’s been through all the phases of her life in front of America and sharing it for the world, really. I don’t think we have seen that before: Someone who met their husband and had her children and then we witnessed the loss,” Hoda explained. “You realize, you have watched every phase of life and now she’s in this new act, where she is pursuing new dreams.”
In early April, Kathie Lee will leave the Today show to pursue more opportunities. Though she’s ready for the next phase of her life, she’s even more excited about enjoying a beautiful sunset from a different part of the world.
“In our family, we always did something called, ‘sunset alert,’ We always lived in places where the sunsets were spectacular. And no matter what, we would have to drop whatever we were doing and go and honor the sunset because God made it,” she said before tearing up. “And for me, the hardest part of my day became sunsets when it would just be me and I’d go, ‘sunset alert’ by myself. It made me realize, I don’t want to stop being joyful. I’m going to go share my sunset somewhere.”