The Today host opens up about the untimely death of her husband at 84

By Grace Gavilanes and Charlotte Triggs
Updated August 19, 2015 07:00 AM
Jemal Countess/WireImage

Kathie Lee Gifford is heartbroken but staying strong, following the sudden death of Frank Gifford, her beloved husband of 29 years.

Much like she has done in the past, the Today show host describes the beloved sportscaster as the same kindhearted many viewers were so accustomed to hearing about in candid anecdotes throughout the years.

“Frank was a beautiful man with a beautiful, generous heart,” Kathie Lee tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “He lived fully and loved deeply, and he leaves an amazing legacy of lives touched and changed.”

RELATED VIDEO: Kathie Lee Gifford Speaks of Heartbreak After NFL Legend Husband Frank Gifford Dies

The former New York Giants running back passed away on Aug. 9 at the age of 84 from natural causes. Gifford is survived by wife Kathie Lee and their kids, Cody, 25, and Cassidy, 22, along with three other children from a previous marriage.

Kathie Lee finds refuge in her family, friends (including former co-host Regis Philbin) and fans, as she addressed on her first day back to the Today set since her husband’s passing.

And there’s no doubt about it, the host is strong and hopeful.

“We will miss him for the rest of our lives,” she tells PEOPLE. “But we gain strength, joy, comfort and hope that we will see him again in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

For much more from Kathie Lee Gifford, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday