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Kathie Lee Gifford Returns To 'Today' After Mother Passes Away — See Her Gut-Wrenching Statement

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Sep. 13 2017, Updated 5:56 p.m. ET

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Kathie Lee Gifford bravely made her way back to the Today show this morning, only a day after she announced that her mother, Joan Epstein, has passed away at 87.  

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No further details have been provided about Joan’s passing, however Kathie shared a sweet message last night as she took to social media to discuss her loss.  

"My precious mother, JOANNIE went home to JESUS & my DADDY this morning. We praise God for His promise of eternal life & we thank God for her,” she tweeted.

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Joan became a fixture with Kathie on television, appearing numerous times with her including some fun cooking segments with Today cohost Hoda Kotb.

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Kathie has already received a ton of support from fans and Today show staff, including Jenna Bush Hager who tweeted "Sending you love. Xx.”

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Her daughter Cassidy Gifford shared a beautiful pic of her and her grandmother Joan on Instagram, with the caption "Jesus & Pop Pop are much cooler, anyhow and I know they're both smiling now that they have you back... so until we meet again, love you to heaven, Cuddles.”

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Gifford has spoken warmly of her parents over the years (her father Aaron Epstein passed in 2002).  Some of the lessons her mom taught her while growing up in Maryland were to act like a “lady,” staying out of the sun and pursuing her goals.

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“I left home when I was 17 years old to pursue my career, and my mom and dad were all for it,” Gifford said. “They figured that they had raised me, and they wanted me to follow my passion. I’ve tried to do that with my own children. She gave me wings.”

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Her late husband Frank Gifford passed in August 2015, a week shy of his 85th birthday.  The couple were married for almost thirty years and have two kids, Cassidy and Cody Gifford.

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Here’s hoping it’s happier times for Kathie in the future!

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What are your thoughts on Kathie’s mother passing?  Sound off in the comments! 

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