"[Ben] said to me once, 'Because mom passed away, I'm afraid you're going to,'" John recalled. "I said, 'Well, it's a very different thing.' And I went through the differences about my longevity and her limited life."
In addition to Ben, Kelly and John, who tied the knot in 1991, shared daughter Ella, 21. They were also parents to Jett, who died in 2009 following an accident during a family vacation. He was 16.
"I said, 'But you know, Ben, you always love the truth and I'm going to tell you the truth about life. Nobody knows when they're gonna go or when they're going to stay,'" he said. "I said, 'Your brother [Jett] left at 16. Too young. Your mother left at 57. That was too young. But who's to say?'"
"I said, 'I could die tomorrow. You could. Anybody can. So let's look at it that it's part of life. You don't know exactly. You just do your best at trying to live the longest you can,'" John added.
In the year since Kelly's death, John has frequently paid tribute to his late wife on Instagram. He most recently did so on Mother's Day, writing, "Dearest Kelly, you brought into my life three of the most wonderful children I have ever known. Thank you. We love and miss you."
In April, John opened up about the grief he's experienced since Kelly's death.
"I learned that mourning someone, dealing with grief is something very personal," he told Esquire Spain. "Mourning is individual and experiencing your own journey is what can lead you to heal. Your grief is different from another person's journey."
"The most important thing you can do to help another person when they are in mourning is allow them to live through it and not complicate it with yours," he shared. "Even though it's great to have company, sometimes it turns into you helping them instead of you working on your loss and grief."