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Heartbroken Terri Irwin Broke Devastating News to 'Inconsolable' Children

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Sep 27, 2006 | 10:44am EDT

Steve Irwin's widow Terri was heartbroken by the shocking news of her husband's death, but even more devastated at the thought of having to tell her two children their father was dead.

Terri spoke with newswoman Barbara Walters for an episode of ABC's 20/20, which airs tonight, where she reveals she learned of her husband's death in a phone call from her brother-in-law.

She recalls, "I looked out the window and (daughter) Bindi was skipping, skipping along outside the window. And I thought, 'Oh, my children. He wouldn't have wanted to leave the children.'

"They've seen me cry, but there are times when I weep. I usually weep alone."

Irwin claims Bindi, who is following in her father's footsteps with a series being developed for the Discovery Network called Bindi the Jungle Girl, was inconsolable when she first heard the news.

She says, "She cried and cried and cried. And I said, 'We're still a family. Daddy still loves you. And we have to stay together and get each other through this.'"

Walters asked Irwin about the moving memorial service where Bindi spoke, saying, "She got up and spoke, with no tears. You almost wonder, 'Does she understand?'"

Irwin replied, "She absolutely understands. She always understood because living at a zoo, animals die. She's seen death.

"She knows what death is and she said, 'I want to be at the memorial and say something about my daddy.'

"I said, 'If you want to, you're welcome to.' She wrote it herself, she said she had some things she wanted to say, so I said it was OK.

"We can understand the grief, and we can live with the grief. But we will not be victims of this grief. We will be wildlife warriors like Steve Irwin."

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