It’s been almost a year since Kristin Cavallari‘s 30-year-old brother Michael Cavallari died as a result of events surrounding a tragic car accident in a stretch of desert outside of Green River, Utah last November.
Sitting down with PEOPLE Now on Friday, the 29-year-old reality star fought back tears discussing her life over the past year dealing with his death — and how her family is still celebrating his life.
“I’ve been kind of emotional about it,” Cavallari said, choking up while talking about the upcoming one-year anniversary of his passing. “Anytime you lose somebody, obviously it makes you appreciate everyone you have in your life.”
“I definitely have been closer with my parents and my entire family in general,” she continued. “It makes you appreciate everyone you have.”
The timing of Michael’s death came shortly after the Laguna Beach alum and her husband, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, welcomed their third child — 10-month-old daughter Saylor James. The couple also share son Jaxon Wyatt, 2, and Camden Jack, 4.
“It’s been a weird year for me,” she said, reflecting on the timing. “So it was the extreme highs and the extreme lows. And even with [Saylor’s] first birthday coming up, it’s the same thing.”
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Cavallari is hopeful her kids will remember his energetic spirit, and said her son Camden is old enough to recall his “Uncle Mike.”
“My brother was such a goofy, fun, silly guy and that’s what I want them to remember,” she said. “And that’s what they will remember because that’s all they saw.”
And while she hasn’t yet discussed plans to commemorate Michael on the one-year anniversary of his death, she knows she’ll be with her family — who recently gathered together at the Utah spot where he died for an “emotional celebration of his life” on would have been Michael’s 31st birthday in June.
“I’m sure we’ll do something,” she said. “I don’t know what, but we’ll be together for sure.”