Allison Holker is reflecting on life after losing her husband Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who died in December.
In her first interview since Boss died at the age of 40, days after their ninth wedding anniversary, Holker told People magazine, “It’s been really hard because I can’t understand what was happening in that moment [he died].”
“Stephen brought so much joy to this world, and he deserves to be remembered as the beautiful man he was,” she said.
The pair wed three years after they met as All-Stars the dance competition “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2010.
Boss adopted her daughter from a previous relationship, Weslie, now 14, and the couple welcomed daughter Zaia, 3, and son Maddox, 7.
The family has struggled since his death, Hoker said.
“No one had any inkling that he was low. He didn’t want people to know,” Holker told the publication. “He just wanted to be everyone’s Superman and protector.”
Losing the dancer and DJ for Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, whose social media was often filled by video and photos of him enjoying time with their family, left Holker emotionally and physically spent, she said.
“You’re trying to help yourself and help your children and friends and family, and it took a toll,” she said. “Getting up in the morning was getting harder and harder.”
Since Boss’s death, she said, “I’ve had so many people — specifically men — reaching out to me, [saying] how they were so affected because they didn’t realize how much they were holding on to and not expressing.”
“I found that to be a lot to hold on to at first, but then I realized I want people to feel safe talking to me and to open up and understand that we have to support each other in these moments.” Holker reflected.
“I could allow myself to go to a really dark place right now, and that would be valid and fine,” she said, adding, “I want to choose a different way for myself and the kids.”
Holker said she strives to communicate openly and honestly with their children.
“I’m trying to teach them — and myself — that if you’re angry or sad, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person,” Holker said. “We’re coping together, and that requires trust and being really vulnerable.”
Timed as part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Holker also spoke Hoda Kotb for an interview that will air Wednesday on NBC’s “Today.”