During an interview with People, the TV anchor, 49, opened up about the experience after she learned the news that her 10-year-old son Edward Yates' music teacher had passed from COVID-19 on April 7, and she and her husband, Douglas Brunt, had to sit the boy down to explain why school had been cancelled the following day.
"It was awful, it was just awful," Kelly began. "I couldn't get it out without crying, and then he cried. We held each other."
"It takes a lot to get [Yates] to tears. But as soon as I told him, [his eyes] welled up," she added.
Kelly said she wasn't sure when to break it to her young son, but wanted him to hear it from her before he found out from friends.
"I'm in the middle of this joyful moment with Yates and [Doug] shows me the [news] and it's like, 'Oh my God, what am I going to do? Am I going to ruin this moment?'" she detailed. "'But he's got to know. We have to tell them because all the boys are Zooming and they're all on this group text where they text every 2 minutes. There's no keeping it from him.'"
The students and teachers had a Zoom meeting the day after the sad announcement, where they paid tribute to the beloved educator.
"These are 9- and 10-year-old fourth-graders, and each one had such a sweet story about the guy, how he made them laugh, how he made them love music, how he made them laugh at themselves," Kelly explained.
Her two younger children -- son Thatcher Bray, 6, and daughter Yardley Evans, 9 -- were made aware after Kelly said "they [came] into the aftermath where they [could] see teary family members, and we just told them the truth too."
To help Yates deal with the emotional hardship, Kelly said family friend, Richie Sambora, of Bon Jovi fame, offered condolences in the best way he knew how -- the gift of a guitar and a virtual music lesson.
"He's so sweet. He spent so much time with Yates," Kelly recalled. "Yates came off that phone on cloud nine."