One week after Broadway star Nick Cordero died of COVID-19-related complications, his wife Amanda Kloots, who documented her husband's long and harrowing battle with the disease on social media, shared highlights from the "small memorial" she held for Nick "with close family and friends" on Saturday, July 11, on Instagram.
"I said, 'Nick would have wanted this to be a celebration,'" Amanda told followers, sharing a photo of herself smiling as Elvis, the 13-month-old son she shares with Nick, smiled while sitting on his mom's shoulders.
"Let's try to laugh, share great stories and sing for him and to his memory.' He would have loved it. It was beautiful and perfect. His spirit was definitely there."
Amanda, a fitness instructor, shared that those who gathered listened to "I'm Here," from "The Color Purple," which she recalled having seen with Nick. It made them both emotional, she said, which then made the reality of his passing really sink in.
"Nick and I saw this show on Broadway years ago and we left the theater in tears, speechless. As it was being played last night the lyrics in the second half of the song hit me hard," she wrote. "Truly, I am scared. Scared of my new normal, of the pain, the loss and being strong enough to get through it. But, I know Nick is up above routing for me, believing in me and hoping for me."
She went on to say she knows her late husband, "wants me to LIVE this new life and he wants me to be the best version of myself for our son I promised him in the hospital that I would try to do that," adding that that's why hearing the lyrics to "I'm Here" inspired her to always play the song going forward when she's "doubting if I can get through this."
Giving herself the space to make mistakes along the way, she continued: "This is a long journey ahead and a down road I never thought I'd be on. No one can tell me how to do it, I have to do it."
She then shared the lyrics of the song for anyone else out there who may also be "in need of a motto," as deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic top 137,000 in the U.S.
Amanda's memorial post comes just days after she shared a video on her Instagram Story where she tearfully wondered aloud how she should deal with the grief that's been consuming her.
"When you're grieving and you're going through something like this, and you go through your day, you feel almost sometimes like 'Am I allowing myself to grieve? Am I allowing myself to acknowledge what's happened and … what these last three months of my life has been?'" she asked, according to People. "I just start to question myself about everything that I'm experiencing right now."
As Nick neared what would be the end of his life at age 41 on July 5, loved ones set up a GoFundMe to help Amanda and her young son with medical bills and more.
It has far surpassed its $480,000 goal. As of Sunday, the page had raised more than $1 million for the grieving family.