How Kristin Cavallari Has Found 'Peace' 8 Years After Her Brother's Sudden Death: 'We Know Mike Is Good'

The 'Laguna Beach' star's brother was just 30 years old when he was found dead in Utah from hypothermia

<p>Jon Morgan/CBS via Getty, Kristin Cavallari/Instagram</p> Kristin Cavallari reflects on the death of her brother, Michael

Jon Morgan/CBS via Getty, Kristin Cavallari/Instagram

Kristin Cavallari reflects on the death of her brother, Michael

Kristin Cavallari sees signs of her late brother Michael that help her make peace with losing him abruptly nearly a decade ago.

The Laguna Beach alum’s brother died unexpectedly in 2015 after he was missing for nearly two weeks in Utah, and Cavallari has opened up about her experiences with grief on Wednesday’s episode of her podcast Let’s Be Honest with Kristin Cavallari.

“Grief is a wild thing and I actually feel like it is like a drug,” said the jewelry designer, 37. “And it's a roller coaster. It comes in waves, you know. You finally think you're okay and then it's like bam, it hits you again.”

What gives her and her parents comfort amidst the loss, though, is the many “signs” they see that remind them of Michael, who was just 30 when he died — gold coins in particular.

“I find so much peace in that because it just makes me feel like he's okay, I know that I'll see him again and that makes me really happy and it just gives me a lot of peace. I think my brother dying and me, like, really diving into the spirituality side of things has made me really comfortable with death and really comfortable with life and really comfortable with hard times because I just really think that we will all see each other again when we die. I really do.”

Related: Kristin Cavallari Pays Tribute to Her Late Brother: 'I Just Wish I Could Hug Him One More Time'

Her belief in “reincarnation” makes her feel comforted that she’ll see her brother again.

“I think we have a soul tribe. So I think all of our main people in our lives are our people in every life,” she explained. “And so because I believe that, I’m like, cool, okay, Mike is good. We know Mike is good because we've gotten all of these signs. He's no longer hurting and in pain.”

She continued, “And so I'll see him again. I know I'll see him again and we'll have many lives together. And so this is just this time period right now without him.”

<p>Kristin Cavallari Instagram</p> Kristin Cavallari and her brother Michael Cavallari.

Kristin Cavallari Instagram

Kristin Cavallari and her brother Michael Cavallari.

Related: Inside Kristin Cavallari's Childhood with Her Brother Michael

On the podcast, Cavallari also reflected on the sequence of events that led to her brother’s death, which involved a two-week period where he was declared missing, during which she welcomed her third child, Saylor, with her ex-husband Jay Cutler.

“So my brother had a lot of issues with drugs and alcohol and he was coming off of a bender and he was driving from southern California to Chicago. This was the week of Thanksgiving in 2015. And he hadn't slept and he was driving through Utah, pulled over, crashed his car and because he was so out of it, he — the airbag went off, he got out of his car, left the car running, left his cell phone in the car,” she explained of the circumstances of Michael’s initial disappearance.

“This is in the middle of nowhere in Utah. And what we think happened was he got out and walked really far — 'cause we went out and we actually retraced his steps and we did a little thing for him out there, my family and I — but [he] got lost, didn't know where he was, couldn't find his way back. And then he ended up dying of hypothermia.”

The Hills star continued, “But there was a two-week period where we didn't know where he was. We knew he crashed his car, they were out looking for him, but no one knew where he was.”

Cavallari called the period when Mike was missing “the craziest time in my life honestly, ‘cause I had this newborn baby and I felt like I was on one of those, like, unsolved mystery TV shows trying to find my brother, which was just so crazy.”

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In the weeks that followed the news of her brother’s death, she reflected on the timing of her daughter being born, which happened just four days before Mike died.

“My little angel, Saylor. She has been my light throughout this whole thing and has given me so much strength,” Cavallari wrote on Instagram of how her newborn was helping her navigate her grief. “Thank you baby girl for coming when u did. 💜”

<p>Kristin Cavallari Instagram</p> Kristin Cavallari and her brother Michael Cavallari.

Kristin Cavallari Instagram

Kristin Cavallari and her brother Michael Cavallari.

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Cavallari also shared on Wednesday's podcast episode that Mike's death only became "real" three years after the fact.

"The three-year anniversary was the hardest and I remember my mom said, 'It's because at three years it becomes real. That's when you're like, he's not coming back. Like, Mike's not coming back.' And that was really hard where, like, the first like year, you're definitely in a haze and it's — you know, you can go a year without seeing someone. But yeah, three years was really tough for me."

She continued, "And the thing too with grief is it just takes time. It just takes time. And I think you have to really allow yourself to feel every emotion — and it is every single emotion."

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