One person who directly understands what Lee has been through is one of her closest friends, Melanie Bloom. In 2003, Melanie's husband, television journalist David Bloom, was traveling with U.S. troops in Iraq. Suddenly, he collapsed from an embolism in his lung and died just weeks before his 40th birthday.
The Bloom and Woodruff families have been close friends for years, living parallel lives of international broadcast journalism. With David's death, the Woodruffs helped Melanie and her three daughters deal with their grief. Bob even filled in for his late friend at a father-daughter dance.
When the Woodruffs were struck with their own tragic news, Melanie rushed to be with her friend. "From the moment the call came that we lost David, Lee was by my side and didn't leave my side. So when I got the call about Bob, I just knew the only place on this planet I could be was right there by her side."
On the plane to Germany to see Bob, Melanie talked Lee through her immediate fears. "I said, 'Let's run through worst-case to best-case so you know you'll be okay no matter what,'" Melanie says. "I'm your worst-case scenario. The worst thing that can happen is we will lose Bob. [We lost David] and my girls are okay and I'm okay. And so worst case scenario? You're looking at it. Let's go from there."
You can read more about Melanie and Lee's friendship in the April 2007 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.