Kathie Lee Gifford Shares Bible Verse That Helped Comfort Ethel Kennedy After Son Michael’s Death

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Kathie Lee Gifford has revealed she comforted Ethel Kennedy after her son Michael died after his death in 1997.

Michael Kennedy was Robert F. Kennedy’s sixth child with Ethel Kenedy, at 11. The businessman, lawyer and political activist died in a tragic skiing accident on New Year’s Eve in Aspen, Colorado at the 39 years old. In her new book, ‘It’s Never Too Late,’ Gifford recounts how she stayed with Ethel Kennedy next to her son’s body and tried to help him through the grieving process that day.

“She was grieving so deeply that she couldn’t move,” Gifford, 67, told People. “She was literally paralyzed with grief.”

The former ‘Today’ co-host’s stepdaughter Vicki Gifford had recently split from Michael Kennedy before the accident after an infidelity scandal rocked their relationship. However, the Giffords were still close to the Kennedys at the time.

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“Vicki shed heartbroken tears,” Gifford wrote in her book, according to the outlet.

Ethel Kennedy at the funeral of her son Michael.
(STUART CAHILL/AFP via Getty Images)

She explained that she and her family went to the hospital where they met Ethel Kennedy, who was 69 at the time, standing outside Michael Kennedy’s bedroom after he had already been pronounced dead. She was still wearing her ski clothes and had an expression that Gifford described as “total shock”.

“‘My God,’ I thought, ‘how much can a woman take? . She had always been very candid about the fact that Michael was her favorite child of the 11 she was born. And now he too was gone.

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Gifford, accompanied by her late husband Frank, stayed with her for over an hour as she lay close to her son’s body without a tear or expression on her face. Every time someone came to take her away, Ethel Kennedy shook her head “categorically.” Gifford says she turned to Frank Gifford, who was a longtime friend of Ethel Kennedy, for advice on what to do. He knew, however, that she just needed to get over the emotional journey she was on at the time.

The star says she prayed in silence before whispering a Bible verse to Ethel Kennedy that seemed to help her.

Kathie Lee Gifford has opened up about how she helped comfort Ethel Kennedy after the death of her son, Michael.

Kathie Lee Gifford has opened up about how she helped comfort Ethel Kennedy after the death of her son, Michael.
(Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

“To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” she said.

With that, Frank Gifford asked her to leave the room until Ethel Kennedy was finished. To this day, Gifford credits the words of the Bible with helping Ethel Kennedy get through this moment.

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“Ethel is someone who has had religion all her life,” she told People. “And so [God had] been a big part of her life, but she had never heard the scripture before that I shared with her in the book… It changed her life.”

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She concluded: “The word of God has power. It is the power of all life that is in speech and words. And that is what pierced the darkness for her – the light of the truth of the word of God.”

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