"Three days before she passed, she wasn't feeling well," Diddy told the mag. "She had the flu, and she sent the kids over to my house so they wouldn't get sick. One night, I was checking on her, and she was like, 'Puffy, take care of my babies.' She actually said that to me before she died."
The three-time Grammy winner said those words played in his head on the morning of Nov. 15 when news broke that Kim had been found dead at her home in Toluca Lake, California. She had been experiencing flu-like symptoms for days. Although "there was screaming and crying" when he got word of her passing, he says he instantly remembered what she had said to him days before.
"I was crying out to God -- and to her -- and almost immediately, Kim's voice kicked in, and I could hear her saying, 'Make sure you take care of my babies,'" he recalled.
Diddy quickly "jumped into Mommy mode," saying he "sent people in every direction to try to make sure the kids would not hear about it on social media or the news."
Diddy and Kim dated sporadically from 1994 to 2007 and shared three children -- son Christian, 21, and twin daughters Jessie James, 12, and D'Lila, 12. The rapper also helped raise Kim's son, Quincy, 27, from a previous relationship. He's also father to son Justin, 25, and daughter Chance, 13, from previous relationships.
"I had to get to the girls' school and find Quincy, who was on set in Atlanta," Diddy explained. "Christian was on a plane, and I had his phone disconnected so he wouldn't read it in the air."
"Every time Kim and I talked, it was about the kids," he continued. "We'd check in as friends, of course, but we never had a conversation that didn't include the kids. It was on some superhero shit, I ain't even gonna lie. On some level, I knew she was training me for this. I knew that I had to be ready to do whatever I was supposed to do if something like this ever happened."
Since Kim's death, Diddy says he's become a lot more involved in their children's lives.
"Before this, I was a part-time father, you know?" he said. "My family was always first, but there are countless times when I chose work over everything else. But every day, I can hear her telling me to go and spend some time with the kids and make sure everybody's alright, like she would do. I'm just a lot more present, and most important, now my kids come before anything else in my life."
Though the pain of losing their matriarch will never fully subside, Diddy says everyone's doing "really well."
"We have a great family. The way we're handling it together -- from Sarah [Chapman, Chance's mother] to Misa [Hylton-Brim, Justin's mother] to all of Kim's friends, the grandparents -- it takes a village," he told mag. "We're doing really well because her passing has changed us and made us love each other more. I'm happy to say that, because at first, I really didn't know how we'd be doing."
"Because of Kim, we're doing this well, because of the way she loved us," he added.