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Allison Holker Boss on explaining the loss of husband tWitch to their kids: ‘Something I wouldn’t wish for anybody’

The mother of three opens up to TODAY's Hoda Kotb about life after her husband's sudden death.
/ Source: TODAY

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.

Stephen “tWitch” Boss’ death came as a shock to many around the world, including his wife, Allison Holker Boss.

The beloved dancer and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” DJ died by suicide in December at the age of 40. In her first TV interview since his death, Holker Boss — who is honoring her husband’s legacy with her Move With Kindness Foundation launched earlier this year — opened up to Hoda Kotb about what life has been like without her adored husband.

“I still feel like the rest of the world where I’m still shocked,” Holker Boss tells Kotb. “No one’s ready for that moment and there’s no one that saw this coming. No one — and that breaks my heart too.”

Allison Holker and Hoda Kotb on Wednesday, May 3, 2023
The two women sat down for an emotional talk. Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Blindsided by Boss’ death, Holker Boss adds that she feels “so sad” that he was suffering “and we weren’t in the know.”

“He wanted to be the strong one for everyone and I think that was a little scary for him to think that he might need to ask for help,” she adds. “He was so much love and light. He really wanted to be everyone’s Superman, and he said that a lot.”

Boss and Holker Boss appeared on “So You Think You Can Dance” together in 2010. They got married on December 10, 2013, and share three children together.

He adopted Holker Boss’ 14-year-old daughter, Weslie, and they had son Maddox, 7, and daughter Zaia, 3, together. The dancer says that she and their children have good days and bad, but are doing their best to move forward.

“I’m looking at you and you seem very strong to me,” Kotb asks. “Is that for you? For the kids? For the world?”

“I think it’s for all of them,” Holker Boss says. “I don’t really have any other choice but to be strong.”

“Now, they still see me have my highs and lows because there’s a lot of it,” she continues. “All I can do is just try to move forward.”

Allison Holker and Hoda Kotb on Wednesday, May 3, 2023
The mother of three chatting with Hoda.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Holker Boss says she's had to also manage tough conversations with the kids.

“It’s honestly something I wouldn’t wish for anybody. It’s really hard,” she says through tears. “But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that communication is key.”

“There’s been some really hard conversations,” she continues. “To us, Daddy’s in the stars. So we can go outside and talk to him whenever we want. ... They just ask, ‘When is daddy coming back?’ and that’s a really hard one.”

“And then it’ll be a couple weeks later, ‘But does he come back when he’s older? Like, when Daddy’s older he’ll come back?’” she says. “But they are still children and still obviously want him here.”

Allison Holker and Hoda Kotb on Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Boss and Holker Boss shared three children together. Nathan Congleton / TODAY

As for Holker Boss, she personally also had those moments when she thinks, “Was there something I missed?”

“I did it a lot in the beginning,” she says. “I eventually had to tell myself, I can’t change anything that’s happened.”

What they had, she says, was magical and real. “And I think that’s the hardest part about all this. The way we loved was so big,” she says of their relationship. “I got 13 years with one of the most magical humans and I learned so much about love and gratitude.”

She adds that she talks to him every night.

“Sometimes it’s just like, ‘I took the kids to school,’ other times it’s a little bit deeper, little more heavy,” she says. “I don’t allow myself to be in a place of anger or sadness, though I allow myself to feel it. I’m feeling this much pain because I’ve had so much love.”

Holker Boss says that she asks him questions “all the time,” wondering if “maybe one day they’ll be this big ‘aha’ of answers.”

Thankfully, she has found comfort in the outpouring support from fans and friends like Ellen DeGeneres.

“She has been a huge support system for me,” she says. “And talk about the fun memories we had with him. We get to live in those great memories that we had.”

Many struggle in silence like Boss. Studies suggest 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness each year. Now, Holker Boss and her family are honoring her husband’s legacy by partnering with her local branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, called Nami Westside L.A. running programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

“What I really would love is to bring awareness to mental health, open up the conversations, but to hopefully help people to feel comfortable asking for that help,” Holker Boss says. “I really do wanna make an impact on behalf of someone I love so much.”