Maria Menounos Speaks Out After Losing Her Mom to Brain Cancer, Says She's 'Still Unpacking' Her Grief

·3 min read

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Maria Menounos opened up publicly for the first time about her grief after losing her mother to brain cancer.

The TV personality, 42, returned to her show, Better Together, on Thursday, and spoke about being a caretaker for her immunocompromised parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The intensity of that I'm still kind of unpacking right now," she said.

In December, Menounos revealed that both her parents had been hospitalized with COVID-19. On Thursday, she said that they were being treated at separate hospitals, making it difficult for her to coordinate their care.

"It was a 24/7, I can say now, nightmare that I made the best of," she continued. "But, managing their care, checking cameras all night, making sure caregivers weren't sleeping on the job — which did happen at the beginning unfortunately until we got the right people in place. It was really, really hard."

Cindy Ord/Getty Maria Menounos poses with her parents Costas Menounos and Litsa Menounos

RELATED: Maria Menounos Cheers Up Her Mom in the Hospital with a 'Future with Grandchildren to Come'

Menounos added that it was hard to extend the compassion she was giving others to herself, as she tried to make sure she was meeting everyone else's needs.

She said she often found herself saying: "We're not the only ones struggling with things, and we have other blessings."

Menounos' mother Litsa died from brain cancer this spring, and she said that an intervention from friends afterward led her to a revelation that helped her heal.

"I've been a gas tank on empty for so long, and I just keep finding somebody to spot me five bucks so that I can get to my next spot, and then I crash again," she said. "And then I'm on empty and someone else spots me five bucks...I realized that a 30-day mandatory break was so important. I've never really given that to myself."

RELATED: Maria Menounos Brought Her Parents Home to Connecticut from L.A.: A 'Dream Come True'

Earlier this week, Menounos shared of photo of herself in the hospital with her parents for Brain Tumor Awareness Month. In the picture, her mom is sitting in a hospital gown while smiling and giving a thumbs up.

"Can't help but love this pic of mom. She was sooooo brave and sooooo positive. Always," she captioned the photo. "She was such a great example for me to follow in my own journey."

She continued, "It's hard to see someone so young leave your physical side. I know she's with me though. ❤️"

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RELATED: Maria Menounos Asks for 'Prayers' After Revealing Her Parents Are Hospitalized with COVID

Litsa died in April after battling stage 4 brain cancer for more than four years. Earlier this year, she revealed that she had brought both her parents back home to Connecticut after they had spent more than a year and a half in Los Angeles.

Getting them home safely amid the pandemic was a challenge, she said, but Menounos did so with the help of a friend's private plane.

"You made her dream come true," Menounos told the friend, Ed Mylett, during the episode. "She's been so dying to come home. It's been over a year and a half, and she flew home so comfortably."