Beth Chapman died of complications from throat cancer on June 26

By Christina Dugan
September 13, 2019 03:51 PM
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Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman is opening up about the sweet dream he had about his late wife.

During an episode of Dax Shepard‘s podcast Armchair Expert, Chapman, 66, revealed how he’s been coping since the death of Beth Chapman.

“I see [Kristen] smile and you smile and the way you treat her and they way she treats you and that’s how I am with mine,” Chapman told Shepard of the actor’s wife, Kristen Bell. “She loves the hell out of you and you love her. I loved that. My wife loved you guys. Loves, not past tense, I respect you so much. I needed this right now. I needed someone like you.”

“My identity is very much her and I,” Shepard said about Bell. “And your identity is very much you and Beth. You have the one layer of just heartbreak of losing your best friend, wife and partner. That’s identity-shattering. And you’ve got to imagine what your identity is now without half of you. That’s got to be terribly frightening.”

Duane Chapman and Dax Shepard
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“I googled it,” Chapman responded. “It says you adapt, you get smarter. She used to tease me, ‘You stole me from the cradle at 18 years old.’ I had her until she was 51, and I’d say one word and she knew what it meant. She’d be like, ‘Let me do it, Big Daddy, you’re too aggressive.’ And then she became more aggressive than me. And now all the sudden she’s not there. Google says you get smarter when you’re forced to deal with it. Because I still go, ‘What time do you have to be up in the morning, honey?’ I’m setting the alarms. …I’m getting better. I depended on her for so much.”

When Shepard asked if Chapman was fully aware of what had happened yet, the reality star broke down.

“No,” he said, holding back tears. “When you’re around people, especially like you, you’re strong. And then all of a sudden you’re all alone or you wake up and you go two minutes without realizing she’s gone and then you feel like s—. I had a dream, I have visions. She’s in heaven and looks up and is like, ‘My god, Big Baddy is going to love it here. Look at all the animals.’ And I’m like, ‘Where are they?’ And then she’s watering the garden looking exactly the same. I used to sneak up on her … and I did and she goes, ‘Big Daddy, what took you so long?’ and started crying.”

Beth Chapman and Duane Chapman
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Beth died of complications from throat cancer on June 26. She was 51.

Fans of the reality star got an inside look at how her family came to terms with the harrowing diagnosis during the premiere episode of WGN America’s Dog’s Most Wanted.

Speaking with PEOPLE Now last month, Dog said that he has not yet seen the upcoming series, which will follow Beth’s difficult cancer battle and his first chapter without her.

“I have not looked at none of these shows,” Dog said. “I looked at the first show a little bit, but at that time, I wasn’t able to handle it.”