Bob Saget’s widow, Kelly Rizzo, is opening up about her grief and the last conversation she had with the comedian prior to his death on Jan. 9 at age 65.
In an interview that aired on TODAY Thursday, Rizzo told Hoda Kotb that she is still trying to process the loss of her husband.
“I was just telling some of my family that today’s a little bit — there’s a little bit more of a sense of calm,” she said. “I think you get to a point where your body will just physically not let you cry anymore, or at least all day.”
As the calmness settles in, the 42-year-old said she has started to come to terms with Saget’s death.
“So I think I’m possibly getting there, or I’m just numb,” she explained. “I can’t tell what it is right now.”
Rizzo spoke to Hoda remotely from the home she shared with Saget, and Hoda wondered if she reminisces about memories of little moments between her and her late husband.
Rizzo said that it’s “impossible” not to reflect on their relationship.
“Everything is a memory, everything reminds me of him,” she told Hoda. “So, that’s been difficult but also wonderful at the same time.”
Following news that Saget was found dead in a Florida hotel room hours after finishing a stand-up performance, fans, friends and co-stars flooded social media with comments about their connection to the actor.
The outpouring of love and support for Saget was the “silver lining” for her during this difficult time, Rizzo said.
“I don’t know how else I’d be getting through this right now,” she added.
The kind words posted on social media reflected the loving attitude Saget exuded in his everyday life, Rizzo said. Hoda mentioned that she heard someone refer to the actor as an “I love you guy.”
Rizzo agreed. “He put it all out there,” she quipped.
“Anyone he met and even spent any time with at all, he told them he loved them endlessly and tirelessly. And that was his entire message,” she said. “If you knew Bob, and he loved you, you knew it. There was never, ever a doubt in your mind.”
On. Jan. 14, Saget’s closest friends and family members came together for a private funeral service. Rizzo revealed that many of the attendees approached her and said they had spoken to the “Full House” star as recently as a week before his death.
“I’m like, ‘How did he have the time to talk to everybody and tell everybody that he loved them all the time?’” Rizzo said she wondered, joking that that must’ve been why the comedian was always on his phone. “I knew that that’s how it was ‘cause he told me 500 times a day, but there was not one person out there that doubted his love for him.”
Later in their talk, Rizzo told Hoda about her last conversation with Saget.
“I think I said, ‘I love you dearly,’ and he said, ‘I love you endlessly,’” she recalled. “I said, ‘I can’t wait to see you tomorrow.’ And then, you know, it was just all very — it was just all love.”
“Full House” co-stars like John Stamos, Lori Loughin and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, who also honored their former cast member through social media posts and heartbreaking statements, attended the memorial service.
In Thursday’s interview, Rizzo briefly touched on Saget’s powerful relationship with his friends — including Stamos, who was Saget’s best friend for 35 years.
“I know how important he was to them,” she said, “And so I’m just trying to make sure that they’re OK because, you know, he was my husband but I’m like — ‘I’ve only known him barely six years. You guys have known him for 20, 30, 40 years.’”
During the interview, Hoda mentioned that comedian Mike Young, Saget’s longtime touring partner, recently spoke to TODAY and said that the actor always wanted to fly home immediately after a stand-up gig to reunite with his wife.
As tears began to stream down her face, Rizzo replied, “He valued every single second that we had together.”
“So that’s why (this) is so heartbreaking. But at the same time, I know that (every) second that we had together was just maximized to the fullest. There was nothing left unsaid and nothing left on the table. So there are the things that I’m just trying to hold onto.”
Rizzo then explained how she and Saget first got together. She said the comedian found her on Instagram and reached out to a mutual friend. Rizzo said she was hesitant at first because of the age difference, but they became friends and started a long-distance relationship.
As soon as the two met in person, they became “inseparable,” Rizzo said.
“From our very first date, pretty much, we knew that that was it. So it was instant,” she said. “We knew that it was something different and unique.”
She said she feels blessed, not lucky, to have met him.
“Because people are like, ‘Oh. Oh. You know, you got robbed. And it’s not fair,’” Rizzo explained through tears. “And I know it’s not fair, but at the same time I got to be that one in his life that was with him for these last almost six years.”
While it is difficult to keep a positive mindset, Rizzo said she tries to think, “I got to be that person that went on this amazing journey with him.”
When Hoda questioned how Saget was feeling before his sudden passing, Rizzo simply said that his last Instagram post was a reflection of how happy he was.
After his final performance at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Jacksonville, Fla. on Jan. 8, Saget uploaded a picture to Instagram of him on stage.
“I had no idea I did a two hour set tonight,” he wrote in the caption. “I’m back in comedy like I was when I was 26. I guess I’m finding my new voice and loving every moment of it.”
The blogger revealed that the current state of the world was “weighing very heavily” on her late husband and he felt “compelled” to make people laugh through his comedy tour.
“People from all walks of life, from red states and blue states, everyone loved him,” she said. “He just wanted to go anywhere he could, just to make people laugh and make people happy. And he did it up until ... the very last moments.”
She praised his comedy style for being “unfiltered” and “authentic.”
Rizzo also opened up about Saget’s message of “Just treat everybody with kindness,” which stemmed from him going through tough moments in his life. One particularly difficult time in Saget’s life was the death of his sister, Gay, at age 47 from systemic scleroderma in 1992. The incurable chronic disease scars some patients’ lungs and skin. Other patients’ blood vessels are affected, leading to profound loss of lung function over time.
The “Eat Travel Rock” blogger said that Saget had three “life’s works” — his three daughters, comedy and the Scleroderma Research Foundation, which he became a board member of in 2003.
“What’s very interesting, which maybe a lot of people might not know, is he actually started working with the SRF even before his sister was diagnosed with scleroderma,” Rizzo revealed. She explained that the benefits for the foundation were called “Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine.” Saget began to work with SRF and became more involved after his sister’s death.
Now, Rizzo hopes to keep Saget’s legacy alive by “spreading his message of love and laughter” and helping with SRF. She referenced “Full House” cast member Candace Cameron Bure and singer John Mayer, two of Saget’s closest friends, who have created sweatshirts that raise money for SRF.
At the end of the interview, Rizzo reflected again on the support Saget has received. She told Hoda, “And as you said earlier, even if you didn’t know him, you felt like you did.”
“Because one way or another, he was in your living room since the ‘80s, or, you know, you went to his shows,” she concluded. “He felt like he was everyone’s dear friend. He just had this way about him that was unchallenged. Nobody will ever be like Bob.”