In the four months since Steve Irwin’s tragic death, his widow Terri has done her best to make things as normal as possible for her children ? Bob, 3, and Bind, 8.
And when Terri and Bindi paid a visit to Access Hollywood for their first interview on U.S. television, our Nancy O’Dell saw for herself what an amazing job Terri has done.
“Can I hold your hand?” Bindi asked her mom as they entered our stage.
“Absolutely,” Terri smiled.
“We’re like best friends,” Bindi told Nancy.
“We are,” Terri confirmed.
There is no stronger bond than the love of family. And it’s that bond that has helped Terri and Bindi face such a devastating tragedy.
“I know it’s been four months now since the accident. I know you’ve had a ton of support and everything, but still having to cope with it, how is it now?” Nancy asked Terri.
“The support has been terrific and it’s unwavering,” Terri said. “Grief is definitely a road you have to travel on your own. I think it’s different for every person. I don’t think there’s really a right or wrong way. It’s important that you’re able to cope to your own ability, so we do things like keep a journal or we read a lot of books. In some way, everyday it gets harder because we miss him more and some days it gets easier because we’re more able to stand together and accomplish what he set out to do. It’s terribly important work.”
This week, Terri and Bindi are taking Steve’s place in the “G’Day USA” festivities ? a weeklong series of events promoting Australian tourism. The event includes a gala on Saturday night with a tribute to Steve, as well as a concert where Bindi will entertain.
“Bind is going to be singing and dancing,” Terri told us.
“I brought along my Crocmen,” Bindi smiled, referring to the group she performs with.
“You’re very proud to be following in your dad’s footsteps,” Nancy commended Bindi.
“Oh yes. I feel that he’s with me and I feel that I want to make him proud. I want to make him the proudest dad to have me and I want to show everybody and nearly be as good as him because he was the best,” young Bindi beamed.
For an 8-year-old, Bindi is undeniably wise beyond her years and she has been a great help to her younger brother Robert.
“How are you helping him through with your dad’s death?” Nancy asked Bindi.
“Well sometimes he say’s he’s really sad and I tell him it’s OK and he’s still with us. I think I’m kind of helping because he says ‘Ok, I can trust you,”” Bindi explained.
“Plus, we’re still a family,” Terri added.
“As Robert says, we’re a whole family.”
Sadly, part of what was so disturbing about Steve’s death was that it was captured on tape. Nancy asked Terri about the tape and what happened to it.
“I know all the footage from the accident was destroyed,” Nancy said. “But there was one take that you decided to keep.”
“Oh, no. All footage has been destroyed,” Terri revealed, dispelling previous reports that she had the only remaining copy in her possession.
She made it very clear that no one, including her own family, will ever see the devastating footage of Steve’s death.
“There’s standard protocols for examining certain evidence and that’s no longer necessary,” Terri explained.
What is very necessary to Terri and Bindi is continuing Steve’s work, which includes promoting his last documentary (“Ocean’s Deadliest”) which he was shooting when he died.
“That’s his last footage with wildlife,” Terri said.
But the 14-year love story between Terri and Steve is what’s truly amazing.
“I understand you guys were meant to be together because you were actually at one of his crocodile shows,” Nancy said. “Was it love at first sight?”
“Yeah,” Terri smiled. “With Steve, he would talk about catching crocodiles so casually.”
In fact, it was one of Steve’s stories about wrestling crocs that made him so irresistible to Terri.
“I heard him tell this story and thought ‘My goodness. I have to talk to this man.’ He is amazing. It was like living with a live action hero for 14 years. It was exhilarating, exhausting, exciting, adventuresome, frustrating and fantastic. You name it,” Terri said.
“It was just awesome,” Bindi added with a smile.