In 2015, Kathie Lee Gifford’s husband Frank Gifford died. In 2017, her mother Joan died. And in 2019, she is leaving the Today show.
And no, the goodbyes never get easier for her.
“In our family, we always did something called, ‘sunset alert,’” Gifford tearfully tells People magazine in a new interview. “We always lived in places where the sunsets were spectacular. And no matter what, we would have to drop whatever we were doing and go and honor the sunset because God made it. And for me, the hardest part of my day became sunsets when it would just be me and I’d go, ‘sunset alert’ by myself. It made me realize, I don’t want to stop being joyful. I’m going to go share my sunset somewhere.”
Next up for Gifford after her final broadcast April 5 on Today will to get settled into a new home in Nashville, a place where she hopes her music and writing career will thrive.
“I am an artist, I’m an actress, I’m a writer, I’m a songwriter, a director now,” the 65-year-old tells the magazine. “That’s the stuff that feeds my soul and I know that I’m running out of time to do those things.”
And while bright things remain on the horizon for Gifford, it’s still tough saying goodbye to those she loves the most, including her Today co-host Hoda Kotb.
“Kathie Lee’s been through all the phases of her life in front of America and sharing it for the world, really,” Kotb tells the magazine. “I don’t think we have seen that before: Someone who met their husband and had her children and then we witnessed the loss. You realize, you have watched every phase of life and now she’s in this new act, where she is pursuing new dreams. Kathie Lee is proof to everybody that it’s not too late.”