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Grief, motherhood and courage: Amanda Kloots opens up about life as a widow and single mom

Nearly three years after “The Talk” co-host’s husband died from complications caused by COVID-19, Kloots shares how she is keeping her husband’s memory alive.
Amanda Kloots with her 3-year-old son Elvis.
Amanda Kloots with her 3-year-old son Elvis.Courtesy of Amanda Kloots.

It’s been nearly three years since Amanda Kloots’ husband, Nick Cordero, passed away after losing a battle to Covid-19 – shortly after their son Elvis’ first birthday. And now that her son is no longer a baby, Kloots is determined more than ever to keep Cordero’s memory alive.

It’s part of the reason why the co-host of “The Talk” wrote the new children’s book, “Tell Me Your Dreams,” which came out earlier this week.

The book tells the story about a little boy who goes on adventures with his dad in his dreams. The idea for the book blossomed about a year after Cordero’s death. Kloots would sit with her son in their rocking chair, say prayers and sing songs.

One night, when Elvis wasn’t quite ready for bed, Kloots, 41, started to tell him about the crazy, fantastical dreams that he could have. Kloots always made sure to include Cordero so Elvis could feel like he was meeting up with his dad in his dreams.

She continues to tell her son all about her dad. Kloots recounted earlier this week whispering to her son before bedtime, “You have Dada’s eyes. You have Mama’s nose. And you have Dada’s hair…”

Kloots said she continues to grieve while single parenting her son – but tries to find the courage each day to move forward and be the best mom and person she can be.

Know Your Value recently chatted with Kloots about grief, motherhood, and moving through the next phase of her life. The conversation is below and has been edited for brevity and clarity:

Know Your Value: With your own grief and healing, what strategies have worked for you? And how do you keep Nick’s memory alive?

Kloots: The grief journey is an individual one. You learn as you go what works for you and what doesn’t. For me, staying on top of my mental health helps my stress and anxiety, whether it’s through therapy, my energy work or fitness. Elvis, my son, is also such a help to me. He gives me someone to take care of and to live for, to be with all the time, and to make me laugh. He is my absolute saving grace.

Elvis and I talk about Dada all the time … You can tell that he’s absorbing it and understanding it now. Elvis also loves music and is always playing the guitar and drums. I tell him he’s just like Dada. It’s almost like Nick’s still around. I just make Nick very much a part of our days.

Beyond Yoga x Amanda Kloots Collaboration Launch Event
Amanda Kloots and Nick Cordero attend the Beyond Yoga x Amanda Kloots Collaboration Launch Event on Aug. 27, 2019 in New York City.Noam Galai / Getty Images for Beyond Yoga file

Know Your Value: What’s it like being a single mom? And what have you learned about yourself?

Kloots: What I’ve learned about myself is that I can do it. I can manage a lot of things and I’m able to support Elvis and love him to the fullest. The hardest part is the “mom guilt” - the feeling that I’m working too much and can’t be with him 24/7. There are also the day-to-day struggles. When something happens with Elvis, I miss having someone to share it with. I think, “God, I wish I could be holding Nick’s hand right now and marveling over our son…” But I’m not. I’m alone, and I have to now drive to work, wipe the tears from my eyes and get the courage up to go do whatever I have to go do.

Know Your Value: In 2020, you publicly critcized former President Donald Trump for his comments regarding Covid-19, calling them “disgraceful” and “beyond hurtful” to families who lost loved ones to the pandemic. Tell us about that decision.

Kloots: It was just my gut instinct reaction to his comments. It was a reaction, not only for Nick but for all of the people that passed away from Covid. We all went through a really hard time and a really hard experience. Still to this day, if someone makes a joke about Covid, it hurts my heart, because it wasn’t like that for everyone. I think calling out Trump was my gut reaction at a very sensitive and vulnerable time …

Know Your Value: Do you have advice for other women going through grief or loss?

Kloots: Give yourself time. Grief can be suffocating and really lonely. Try to find a community of people who have experienced a similar loss. The more that you share your story about grief and loss, you start opening up and allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and you start meeting other people that are in your same boat and you realize that you’re not alone. In my community, I’ve been able to help so many people and others have been able to help me.

Know Your Value: Have you had a moment that you truly had to articulate your value?

Kloots: I could say I had a few during that pandemic time. It wasn’t anything I ever publicized, although it is in my book “Live Your Life”… There was a moment in the hospital, during Nick’s stay with Covid, where I had to be Nick’s advocate and stick up for myself, for him, his family and my family. It was a very Know Your Value moment for me. I had been through a lot at that time, and it was close to the end of Nick’s hospital stay. It was definitely a moment of standing up for myself, knowing who I am, what I can say and what I can do.