It’s difficult to comprehend that it’s been 15 years since the death of the beloved and real ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin. When he was pronounced deceased after a freak accident involving a stingray, the world reacted in such a way as to not only be shocked but to question the motives behind his continued love of the predatory animals he came to be associated with over the years. Now his wife Terri is speaking out and sharing more in-depth words regarding the accident and how Steve never truly felt his life would be that long, especially given the deadly creatures he was working within the oceans of Australia. According to Terri Irwin, Steve always had a sense that his time on this earth would be cut short. After Steve was gored in the chest with the barb of a stingray while filming “Ocean’s Deadliest” in Queensland, Terri immediately felt a rush of responsibility, alongside the immense grief that overwhelmed her entire body. “What do I do next?” were the first thoughts streaming out of her consciousness, as Steve was lying in the ambulance with a solid piercing to his heart by one of the most iconic and deadly creatures of the sea.

Terri wasn’t sure how to tell her children, who were waiting in the car outside the hospital. Steve Irwin was so young and vibrant that losing his life in such a manner became something the world responded to in such a way that Terri never expected. Steve never sought fame or fortune, he was merely doing what he loved and paid the price for it. Meanwhile, during a recent interview with an Australian T.V. series titled “Anh’s Brush with Fame” the 53-year old widow explained how Steve truly was when he was alone with her and how he knew deep down that his adventurous life would end in tragedy. Despite Terri’s presence at the interview in a different capacity promoting her advocacy for an anti-culling campaign the conversation immediately went off course and highlighted her husband’s death, but also his career.

It was a difficult time for the Irwin family, as Terri mentions in the interview with tears streaming down her cheeks. Steve was her rock. He was the source of her inspiration and those of his young children. Once he was no longer around, and even after 11 years of his passing, the struggle continues to be real for Terri as a single mother. At only 44 years old during the time of his death, Steve never allowed the fame to get to his head. In fact, he would have been amazed at how many people around the globe mourned his death following the horribly unpredictable accident at sea. The upside is that his two children, Bindi and Robert, have grown up to become wildlife enthusiasts just like their dad. Bindi has taken the reins more profoundly and is incomplete likeness of her father Steve, as she is quite the advocate for ocean conservation. Once the Hollywood Walk of Fame honored her dad with a star, complete with Mom and brother Robert adding their smiles and hand placement on top of their dad’s name for a photo op, the world saw in the remaining family what was there all along–a reverence for Steve Irwin and all he brought to the world with his captivating style and love of the ocean life.