Between running the Australia Zoo and starring on a brand new Animal Planet series, Terri Irwin has little time for romance — but staying single is perfectly fine by her.
“I think it’s wonderful when people who have lost someone find love again, but I’m not personally looking, and I haven’t been on a date in 27 years,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue, on stands Friday. “In fact, it’s been so long, I’ve had a couple of lovely women ask me out because they figured that’s the case. But I’m content. I have two beautiful kids, a really full plate. I’ve already had my happily ever after.”
Terri fell in love with Crocodile Hunter star Steve Irwin after a chance encounter in 1991, and the pair wed eight months later. During their 14 years together, the couple welcomed daughter Bindi, 19, and son Robert, 14, before Steve was killed in a freak accident in 2006 when he was impaled in the heart by a stingray.
“No matter the circumstances are that you lose someone, nobody’s truly prepared,” says Terri. “Steve’s accident was so unexpected, it was extremely challenging.”
One of the ways she coped was to sit down with her children every night, “We’d each say our favorite part of the day, what we were most looking forward to tomorrow and a good deed we did that day,” says Terri. “You can’t focus on yourself. You need to focus on what you’re doing for others and then you can start to heal.”
Fore more on the Irwins’ life now, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
While Terri says they still miss Steve everyday, her family’s mission is to carry on his legacy and passion for conservation.
“Steve was someone who was larger than life and really did live life to the fullest,” she says. “Even though he died at 44, years of age he lived such a full life and that’s what I want to do and share.
The Irwin family’s new series will premiere on Animal Planet this fall.