Whoopi Goldberg 'Still Processing' Mother's Death

10/03/2010 at 12:00 PM EDT

Whoopi Goldberg 'Still Processing' Mother's Death
Whoopi Goldberg and Emma Johnson
Ron Galella/WireImage
A month after the death of her mother, Whoopi Goldberg is still reeling from her loss.

"I'm still in the processing phase," she said backstage at AARP's national event, Orlando@50+. "It's really hard to believe that she's gone."

Goldberg's mother, Emma Johnson, passed away from complications following a stroke on Aug. 28. The loss is difficult to get used to.

"I used to talk to her every day," says The View co-host. "I'm still in the habit of talking to her, you know, but I just wish she were here with me."

What types of things did Goldberg and her mother talk about? "Every day she'd say, 'I'm proud of you,' " recalls Goldberg. "And I would respond, 'I'm proud of you.' I was very lucky to have her as a mother."

"I know she had a great life," continues Goldberg, "so I can't be too sad. She had a great time of it. But of course I'm sad because I really miss her."

Despite her mourning, Goldberg has found a silver lining. "We didn't leave anything unsaid," she explains.

Goldberg acknowledges that working will take her mind off her grief. "I've been keeping really busy," she tells PEOPLE. "Of course, there's The View. I did two movies: For Colored Girls with Tyler Perry, and A Little Bit of Heaven with Kate Hudson. Oh, and I have a book coming out next week. It's called Is it Just Me," and it's about the loss of civility in our culture today."

"It's good to have things to do, to be working," she notes. "Working makes me happy."

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