It’s been almost a full year since Kathie Lee Gifford kissed Today and New York City goodbye to relocate to Nashville in April 2019. As she returned to her roots at the NBC morning show for a brief visit, the beloved TV star explained how the death of husband Frank Gifford and the “crippling” loneliness she felt was a driving force behind her move to Music City.

“This home of mine in Connecticut where Frank and I raised our beautiful children and we had so many happy years … when I was living there alone, dogs can only do so much for you,” Kathie, 66, candidly revealed during Today‘s Janurary 23 episode. “And I love my dogs, but it went from being the most teeming, thrilling, joyful, all the dog sounds, the kid sounds, the smoke in the grill and, you know … it just was life.”

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The former Kathie Lee and Hoda star — who shares kids Cody Gifford, 29, and Cassidy Gifford, 26, with her late husband — then told former cohosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager how things have been different since’s Frank’s tragic passing. “It came to feel like a mortuary with me just there alone,” she confessed. “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.”

Although Kathie Lee could find a way to fill her day with distractions, she could no longer bear the burden she felt at home. “I lived to come in to be with you in the morning because that was —,” the former Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee star admitted to Hoda, adding, “And then I’d go home to it again at night. And I said, ‘Where is there life in abundance?’ And I said, ‘Nashville.'”

Despite any struggles she faced before moving to Nashville, Kathie Lee gushed she’s looking forward in life. “I got three big weddings this year and I’m just excited,” she marveled on Today, referring to son Cody’s upcoming nuptials, as well as engaged daughter Cassidy’s and, of course, Hoda’s. “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.”

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While Kathie Lee has found happiness in her life again, the one thing she’s still missing is love. Although it’s been almost five years since Frank died from natural causes at age 84, the blonde beauty seems in no rush to find another man.

“God’s going to bring someone into my life, and I’ll be delighted,” Kathie Lee sweetly shared in an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly. “I ain’t looking for it. It’ll find me!”