Kathie Lee Gifford was devastated after her husband of nearly 20 years, Frank Gifford, died of natural causes in August 2015, but she is now ready to move forward.
“I’m open to love, but I don’t think you go out and find love; I think that it finds you,” Kathie Lee, 65, told Us Weekly exclusively at her Today show farewell party in New York City on Tuesday, March 26. “I’m a woman of faith, so I also think that if God wants it, then he’ll bring it. Maybe I have [found love] already and just don’t know it. We’ll see.”
As for what the “He Saw Jesus” singer is looking for in a partner? Her Today show cohost Hoda Kotb joked, “Well, the main requirement for her is that they have all their own teeth. That’s very important!”
While Kathie Lee told Us she is “feeling OK” now, nearly four years after the former NFL player passed away at the age of 84, she admitted that it was not easy in the immediate wake of his death. “I was having a rough time [in the beginning],” she explained. “But I allowing myself to feel OK.”
The former Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee cohost recently opened up about Frank’s death for AARP magazine’s April/May 2019 issue. “If you’re not careful, what you’ve lost in life can define you,” she said. “It’s so much healthier to be defined by what you still have.”
Kathie Lee continued, “I’m making big changes in my life because I need to; really big changes that are feeding my soul. Otherwise, despair sets in and loneliness can be crippling. I didn’t have to stay in this big house anymore. I found myself dealing with crippling loneliness. I had to make moves and spiritual moves. You gotta make new memories or the old ones are going to kill you.”
One of the life changes the Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi author made is leaving her longtime cohosting gig on the Today show. Kathie Lee announced the decision in December, and Us exclusively revealed last month that Jenna Bush Hager will permanently fill her spot in the show’s fourth hour.
Hager, 37, later confirmed the news on air and said, “Oh, my gosh! My heart is pounding. I want to cry. I want to weep.”
Kathie Lee’s last day on Today will be Friday, April 5.
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With reporting by Travis Cronin
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