"Today" host Kathie Lee Gifford has been suffering from "crippling loneliness" over the last few years, since the deaths of her husband and mother, Fox News reported.
The 65-year-old's husband, onetime football player and TV sportscaster Frank Gifford, died in August 2015 and her mother's deah came two years later. Since then Gifford admitted it became increasingly easier to let despair settle in.
"And the loneliness can be crippling," she said in a candid interview with AARP The Magazine.
Gifford opened up about life and loss ahead of her departure from the "Today" show on April 5, after hosting the program for over a decade.
"I'm making big changes in my life because I need to, really big changes that are feeding my soul," she said, according to Fox News. "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. It's so much healthier to be defined by what you still have."
Gifford said she felt the need to make moves in her life to beat the "crippling loneliness" that was setting in.
"You gotta make new memories or the old ones are going to kill you," she said.
Gifford shocked fans after announcing in December that she would be leaving the "Today" show. At the time, NBC President Noah Oppenheim, sent out a heartfelt memo to staff informing them of the news.
"When we first launched this incredible hour, no one could have predicted the lightning (or rather, wine) in a bottle that is Hoda & Kathie Lee," he wrote, according to USA Today.
"Whether in studio or on one of their many road trips, they have delighted our audience with their distinct brand of fun, friendship and adventure. During that time, Kathie Lee has cemented her status as one of the most enduring and endearing talents in morning television. In short – she is a legend."
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