Kathie Lee Gifford Moved to Nashville Because Home Where Frank Died Felt 'Like a Mortuary'

After her husband Frank's death in 2015, Kathie Lee Gifford said she struggled with "crippling" loneliness

Kathie Lee Gifford is opening up about her big move to Nashville.

On Thursday, the former co-host, 66, stopped by the Today show to talk about the “crippling” loneliness she experienced while still living in the Greenwich, Connecticut, home she shared with late husband Frank Gifford.

“This home of mine in Connecticut, where Frank and I raised our beautiful children and we had so many happy years, when I was living there alone,” she said, “dogs can only do so much for you, and I love my dogs.”

She continued: “But it went from being the most teeming, thrilling, joyful — all the dog sounds, the kid sounds, the smoke in the grill and, you know, it just was life.”

Kahie told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager that her longtime residence began to only remind her of Frank’s sudden death in August 2015 at the age of 84.

“It came to feel like a mortuary with me just there alone,” she said. “And I said I need to make a new life for myself or this one’s going to kill me.”

Kathie was the one who found Frank collapsed and unresponsive on the floor in their Connecticut home, as she detailed in her 2017 song “He Saw Jesus.”

Kathie Lee Gifford's Farewell Party, New York, USA - 26 Mar 2019
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

In November, Kathie elaborated on her decision to move to Franklin, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville, saying that once her children Cody, 29, and Cassidy, 26, moved out and she lost the love of her life, their old home stopped feeling like a safe haven.

“I moved here because I was dying of loneliness,” she told USA Today. “… Here’s the bad news — I’m a widow, an orphan, and an empty nester. The good news is, I have the freedom of a widow, an orphan and an empty nester.”

Kathie moved in 2019 after retiring from Today on April 5 after 11 years on the show.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

Jim Spellman/WireImage

During an appearance on Today last fall, Kathie said she loves the relaxed attitude of the south.

“There’s a different culture down there. It’s a culture of kindness in Nashville,” she said. “They are authentically kind. They are joyful; they have so much fun.”

Since moving to Nashville, Kathie has focused on producing religious movies and music.

“I’ve got all the time to spend my days writing,” she said. “I’m having the life I could’ve only ever dreamed of.”

Related Articles