"He's such a lover, and I just love cuddling up with him," Amanda Kloots says of their son

Amanda Kloots found comfort in her son Elvis during her most difficult year.

In this week's issue of PEOPLE, the fitness trainer and entrepreneur, who lost her husband Nick Cordero to complications from COVID-19 in July, details her special relationship with their 17-month-old son and her decision to join CBS's The Talk.

"He has been changing so much every day," says Kloots, 38. "This stage has been so fun because he's really becoming a little human. He responds to me now, and I can reason with him now, but he really is just my best friend. He's such a lover, and I just love cuddling up with him. And he still sleeps in my bed with me because it's just how things have gone. And so we cuddle up at night, and I have somebody to hold on to and he has somebody to hold on to."

nick cordero and amanda kloots
Credit: Ashley Becker
amanda kloots
Amanda Kloots and son Elvis
| Credit: Mike Rosenthal

"We're really close, and I'm very grateful for that," she continued.

In October, Kloots got candid about the challenges of raising her son since her husband's death in July.

"Thank god I have a little piece of my husband," Kloots told PEOPLE. "Anytime I'm sad, he brightens my mood in two seconds. He looks at me with his big smile and his little teeth, and I'm instantly transported into a different mood."

She admitted that she can already see the similarities between her son and husband.

amanda kloots nick cordero and their son elvis
Credit: Amanda Kloots/Instagram

"He is calm and cool and gets along with everybody. I think that's very much Nick," she said. "We have this beautiful little boy that we created together. I love watching him grow, and I know Nick is watching him too."

In late March, Cordero was diagnosed with COVID-19 and spent 95 days in the hospital, 42 of them in a medically induced coma. The Broadway star developed a lung infection and septic shock and had to have his right leg amputated. After more than three months of fighting for his life, he died on July 5.

RELATED VIDEO: Amanda Kloots Details Late Husband Nick Cordero’s Final Moments in Hospital: It’s Still Fresh in My Memory

Despite the challenges of this past year, Kloots says she's ready for new adventures — including her latest endeavor as co-host for CBS's The Talk.

"I'm really just looking forward to evolving as a person," says Kloots, who will be joining the show with additional new host Elaine Welteroth on Monday's episode of the CBS daytime talk show."I love growing and learning and being open to receiving information. And I think what's great about this show is I can go into an episode and know about the topics that we're going to talk about, but then Sharon [Osbourne] will say something or Sheryl [Underwood] will say something, or Carrie Ann [Inaba] will say something, and it really adjusts what you think."