In a new interview on ABC’s Anh’s Brush With Fame, the 53-year-old mom-of-two broke down in tears when she recalled the moment that she was told her husband had died after being stabbed in the heart by a stingray, Irwin admitting that even after more than a decade, the pain of his loss is still fresh.
“I just remember this incredible sense of responsibility. This feeling of overwhelming grief but, it was like, ‘what do I do next?’ So I kind of collected my thoughts and then I had to go out to the car and tell Bindi and Robert, which was really hard,” she said, according to the Daily Mail, adding that when the family arrived back at the Australian Zoo, she was shocked by the media presence.
“It's just really hard not having Steve. I'm just lonely for Steve if that makes sense,” Terri continued. “Grief hits you at the most bizarre times. So I might be talking to biology students and it will remind me of Steve and I will burst into tears. You don't ever get over grief. It changes, but you never wake up one morning and go, ‘oh, I'm done with that.’ That was the challenge in the journey after Steve died.”
Irwin, better known as the Crocodile Hunter, passed away in 2006 after being stabbed in the heart by a stingray on Queensland’s Batt Reef. He had been filming an underwater documentary called Ocean’s Deadliest at the time of the incident and had decided to snorkel during a break in filming.
Since his death, Terri, who married Irwin just four months after becoming engaged in 1992, has been open about the fact that she hasn’t dated.
“I wasn't even dating, I wasn't even looking. I was 27 years old and figured my life was going to be my work and met Steve and fell instantly in love,” she said. “I feel that we had that soulmate thing. And in the 10 years since [his death], I haven't dated or even thought about it. Because I'm not afraid to be on my own. I always felt with Steve, if I hadn't married Steve I wouldn't have gotten married.”
Terri, alongside her two children Bindi and Robert, have taken it upon themselves to continue Irwin’s work in wildlife conservation, the trio operating the Australia Zoo. The family will also be appearing in the new Animal Planet Crocodile Hunter-inspired series, which is set to premiere in fall 2018.