Kathie Lee Gifford: Colleague Al Roker Talks of Her Strength Following Frank Gifford's Death

Kimberly RipleyLife

Share this Post

Kathie Lee Gifford is "distraught," but "strong" in the wake of her husband Frank Gifford's passing last Sunday, according to her Today Show colleague Al Roker. Roker chatted with the HuffPost Live on Friday about Kathie Lee and her devastating loss.

"You know, we reached out [to Kathie]," Roker said. "And she is very strong but obviously, very distraught. The thing I love about Kathie Lee is that she jokes around... at her core, she is such a woman of faith. And while this is a tragedy for her and her family, I know she knows it's God's will. While she's sad, I think she rejoices in the time she had with Frank and these two beautiful children they had together."

Frank Gifford died of natural causes at home in Connecticut at the age of 84. Earlier this week, Kathie Lee Gifford's co-host and dear friend Hoda Kotb weighed in on Frank's death.

"Kath said something to me yesterday," Kotb shared. “She said, ‘This is not a tragedy.’ I was holding her hand, and she said, ‘A 4-year-old girl having cancer is a tragedy. Frank lived to be almost 85.’ She said, ‘He lived an incredible life, has an incredible family, had an incredible legacy.’ She said, ‘His life is a triumph.’”

Al Roker paid tribute to Frank Gifford, too, saying, "Here's a guy I grew up watching him play football when I was a small kid, and then watching him on Monday Night Football. He's pretty much what you see on television, this self-effacing, low-key guy is who you see in person. So vibrant!"

"I'd been out to Kathie Lee's maybe about six months ago," Roker added, "and he comes driving up in a convertible with his sunglasses on, and it's like, 'Geez, it's Frank Gifford. Frank Gifford!'"

Kathie Lee Gifford has long been a devout Christian, and she has relied on her strong faith to see her through this difficult time. She has taken to Twitter to share words of Scripture with her followers.

On Friday, Kathie Lee Gifford sent a warm congratulatory Tweet to Today Show colleague Jenna Bush Hager on the arrival of her new baby girl, Poppy Louise Hager.

As both Al Roker and Hoda Kotb can attest, Kathie Lee Gifford is grieving, but thankful, too--that she had a life with Frank Gifford. She realizes how blessed she was to have had him until he was nearly 85 years old.

Faith is clearly helping Kathie Lee Gifford put Frank's passing into perspective. It will no doubt continue to strengthen and guide her in the days to come.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.