Kathie Lee Gifford has been an open book for most of her public career, sharing everything from her faith to her personal life. After her husband, Frank Gifford, and mother, Joan Epstein, passed away, however, Kathie Lee found herself in a different place and it wasn’t as easy for her to talk freely about it. Kathie Lee withdrew as she worked through her grief, leaning on her faith, and finally came to a place where she could discuss these huge challenges in her life.
When she sat down with the “I Am Second” crew, she had a very honest and open interview, including a discussion of these hard times.
Kathie Lee also spoke of her early desires of being a performer and how she followed that passion to make it a reality. Kathie Lee met her fair share of adversity and cruelty in the entertainment industry, however, as she discussed how she was turned down by casting agents and even called names. She never let it turn her off to a career in entertainment and her perseverance definitely paid off.
As she set off on her career, she met Frank and their marriage lasted 29 years, despite personal challenges and struggles. Kathie Lee was, of course, devastated by the death of her husband, relaying when she found him dead in August 2015, and explaining in the most peaceful way: “On a beautiful Sunday morning, I found my husband passed on to Heaven… He saw Jesus and Jesus took his breath away.”
She had her mother and children to support her following Frank’s death, but her mother passed away just two years later. With grown children living away from home, she was overcome with loneliness, explaining: “My biggest struggle at this point of my life is loneliness. I’ve lost my parents, my husband is gone now and my children live far away from me. I still live in the same big house where we made a gazillion million memories. And there are times when I am overwhelmed by loneliness.”
Kathie Lee found strength in God and her faith to cope with the loneliness and loss. That keeps her afloat, as she noted: “I’ve discovered that if I just keep thinking about what I’ve lost, I don’t pay any attention to what I still have. I don’t want to live my life in hopelessness. I’ve been there.”
She lives her life in a positive space, saying of her loss: “I couldn’t bear to think about, oh, woe is me, I’m a widow. No. I’m so grateful that Frank is exactly where he is supposed to be.”
In the end, she offers these words of encouragement to viewers: “You’re supposed to be you. That’s the first letter of unique: ‘u.’ And that brings a smile to God’s face because he didn’t make a mistake with you.”
Among the many fans who commented on the video was one who shared: “I’ve always loved Kathie Lee Gifford. I don’t typically watch morning shows, but anytime I saw her show, I just had to stop and watch. She exudes such joy, it’s infectious! So glad to see her here.”
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