Steve Irwin’s widow Terri describes battling grief after losing ‘Crocodile Hunter’: ‘It stays with you’

Australian adventurer Steve Irwin and his wife Terri pose with their
daughter Bindi at the premiere of the adventure comedy motion picture
"The Crocodile Hunter - Collision Course" at the Cinerama Dome in the
Hollywood section of Los Angeles June 29, 2002. The naturalist couple
appear in the film which opens across the United States on July 12.
REUTERS/Jim Ruymen

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Steve Irwin has been immortalized with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Its 12 years since the crocodile hunter had his fatal encounter with a stingray.

He’s not been forgotten.

And his wife and two children continue to strive to keep his memory alive.

Terri Irwin spoke to the ABC 7.30 Report from Australia Zoo Tuesday.

It was an emotional and moving account of grief, loss — and life without her famous husband.

“None of us are immune to grief and everyone who has suffered loss understands that grief changes but you never wake up one morning and you’ve moved on,” Terri said. “It stays with you and you know, you ebb and flow.”

But she said the acknowledgment the Hollywood star represented was “special”.

“To be able to acknowledge everything that he worked so hard for in making sure that the world at large understood the importance of conservation and not just folks like ourselves who loved wildlife and wild places. It is very moving.”

Terri confessed she had not been prepared for life without Steve.

“As someone who always considered myself a fairly independent person, I really wasn’t prepared for that sense of fear — can I really take all of this forward? I was worried about my kids, our beautiful zoological facility and the work Steve started.”

But she said she knows now that she never really wavered in her task. But it took time to heal.

“It took time to reconvene, believing in myself again and believing that this is something we could achieve together,” she said.

Terri said conservation remained a burning issue for Australia.

Even now, amid the fear and controversy sparked by recent shark attacks.

“In this day and age it’s harder to find an apex predator than to avoid one,” she said. “Human life is always the most valuable. (But) the people I know who love the ocean really understand the risks. I don’t know a single surfer who would say, gee, I wish there were no sharks in the ocean.”

This article originally appeared in news.com.au.

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