"The Talk" co-host Amanda Kloots tracks her life with actor husband Nick Cordero, one of the first high-profile fatalities of the COVID-19 pandemic, in her memoir being published Tuesday. A day ahead of publication, in two of several interviews for her book "Live Your Life," the TV personality and fitness entrepreneur reflected on the nature of her grief.
"It doesn't choose a day or time," Kloots, 39, told USA Today. "It comes in a wave and crashes over you and then goes away again instantly," she said, adding, "It's still this emotional roller coaster of never really knowing how to mend the hole that's a part of your heart now."
Cordero, a Tony Award nominee for the 2014 Woody Allen musical "Bullets Over Broadway," died July 5 at age 41, three-and-a-half months after being admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He left behind Kloots and their 1-year-old son Elvis, now 2.
"People say it gets easier as time goes on but I disagree," Kloots told the Los Angeles Times. "It's gotten harder for me. I miss Nick's energy and I wonder how he would be with Elvis. As time goes on, you do learn tools that help you. In the beginning, the grief is so overwhelming. You feel like an astronaut in space: You have a protective suit, your family, but you feel like you're drifting."
Because of hospitals' standard protocols against spreading COVID-19, Kloots was not allowed to visit her husband, who underwent a leg amputation because of a spreading infection. While the couple was able to FaceTime, not being physically present in her husband's hospital room fed into Kloots' denial about his death, she said, which the book helped her overcome. Writing it, she explained to USA Today, meant "admitting what had happened for the first time. When Nick first passed, it felt like the hospital just wouldn't let me go visit him again. I was stuck in that pattern again that he was still there."
The book opportunity came, Kloots told the Times, the month before Cordero died. "I was walking out of the hospital, and I got a call from [publishing executive] Lisa Sharkey at HarperCollins. She had been following the story on [Kloots'] Instagram, and she said, you need to write this down." Kloots would co-author it with her writer sister, Anna Kloots.
"The book just poured out of me," Amanda Kloots recalled. "Recording the audiobook, though, has been really emotional. Much harder than writing the book."