Amanda Kloots doesn’t grieve alone. From the moment her husband, Broadway actor Nick Cordero, fell ill with Covid-19, in March 2020, through 95 chaotic days as he spiraled through a cascade of complications, until his death on July 5, Kloots shared his story and her prayers to the world through Instagram. Thousands of people responded, praying along and singing every day at 3 p.m. to the last song Cordero wrote and recorded — Live Your Life.
Now, Kloots, a Broadway dancer turned fitness instructor turned hostess on CBS’ The Talk, recounts this experience in a new book by the same title: Life Your Life (Harper, out now). It’s a story that ends in mourning but yet is threaded throughout with examples of love, generosity, faith, friendship, and her commitment to celebrating the goodness in life amid the grief.
Kloots talks with PW about God, miracles, and missing Nick.
Throughout all the medical setbacks and your struggle with hospital rules to be able to see Nick in the ICU, your Christian faith is unshaken. The word “doubt” only appears seven times in the book, usually phrased, “without a doubt.” Wouldn’t this experience make you doubt God?
I don’t doubt. I never doubt. I’m a showgirl. My career for 17 years was one of being told “No” over and over and over again. I had to believe in myself since I was 18 when I came to New York. When someone tells me, “You don’t belong in our show,” I come the next day to the next call, shoes in hand, and linde up. I don’t doubt myself or faith or God.”
But God didn’t grant you the miracle you prayed for — that Nick would live and return to you and your baby boy. In the book, one of your sisters says, “Sometimes God grants a miracle differently than we ask for.” What miracle did you receive?
The miracle is the community I have now and all the blessings that sharing Nick’s experience has led to. I have incredible friends and family and so many people all around the world who have cared about me – people you could only hope and wish and dream to have in your life. Sharing Nick’s experience brought people together to witness and applaud, to cheer for the goodness of humanity when we needed it most.”
Did any followers on social media reply that your experiences have led them into – or back to – belief and prayer?
Definitely! I had so many people saying, "I am an atheist but I am down on my knees praying for your husband." Or "I haven’t prayed for years but I pray for you and your husband every day.” I never considered myself an evangelist but maybe this experience has brought that out in me.
Do you think potential readers might worry the book will make them sad?
No. It’s not a sad book. It will speak to different people in different ways. If you had a long hospital stay, it will resonate. If you haven’t been in touch with family, this might prompt you to make that call. You would see all my messages about exercising every day to stay healthy and celebrate that you are able to do that. My book is not only about loss and grief and sorrow. It’s about caring and giving.
It’s also about giving back. You and your sister Anna (co-author of the book) launched a business this spring, Hooray For, with t-shirts that cheer with messages such as “Hooray For Life!’ and a portion of proceeds going to charities. What happened?
We’ve raised more than $100,000 in less than a year! Anna and I are so thankful.