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Kathie Lee Gifford says she felt 'crippling' loneliness before moving to Tennessee: 'It came to feel like a mortuary'

Kathie Lee Gifford is opening up about her new life in Tennessee and how happy she is to have escaped the “loneliness” she came to feel in her Connecticut home.

The former TODAY with Kathie Lee and Hoda co-host joined Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Thursday and caught up on what life is like in the South after she moved from the home she shared with late husband Frank Gifford. And although Gifford was excited to report that she is “so good, and just happy,” she also took time to explain the loneliness that she was experiencing before.

Kathie Lee Gifford admits that her "loneliness was crippling" before moving to Nashville. (Photo: Getty Images)

“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 — I mean dogs can only do so much for you and I love my dogs — but it went from the most teeming, thrilling, joyful — all the dog sounds, the kid sounds, the smoke in the grill, just life — and it came to feel like a mortuary with me just there alone,” she explained.

The 66-year-old had been living in the home alone after her husband’s 2015 death, until 2019 when she announced that she would be leaving her spot on TODAY and moving just south of Nashville to Franklin, Tenn.

“I said, ‘I need to make a new life for myself or this one’s gonna kill me,’” Gifford recalled. “The loneliness was crippling, it was crippling. And I lived to come in to be with [Kotb] in the morning...and then I’d go home to it again at night. And I said ... ‘Where is there life and abundance?’ And I said, ‘Nashville.’”

Gifford explained that she chose that area after spending formative years there in the late ‘70s when she worked on the show Hee Haw Honeys.

“It was a very different town then. But the people are still the same,” she told Hotb and Hager. “It’s a culture of kindness.”

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