02/17/2005 AT 8:00 AM ET
Christopher Reeve’s widow, Dana Reeve, appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Wednesday in her first TV interview for an hour-long tribute to her actor-activist husband, who died last October.
Often tearful, Dana tells Oprah about her husband, who spent the last nine years of his life as a quadriplegic after his fateful horse-riding accident in 1995: “A lot of people say, ‘Well you didn’t have a chance to say goodbye.’ I had nine-and-a-half years. He could have easily died in the field when he had his accident. There are a number of times he could have chosen … ‘I don’t want to live like this.’”
As for the quality of the Superman star’s life following the accident, Dana says, “I said, ‘It’s your life … but I’ll be with you for all of this.’”
When it came to downtimes, “He rarely had those days,” she says. “He would go down to the bottom, but you have to go down to the bottom to push off.”
Besides Dana, the tribute included friends Robin Williams (who was Chris’s acting school roommate) and Glenn Close, as well as the Reeves’s 12-year-old son Will.
Discussing his dad’s death, the boy says: “It’s definitely weird, but I try to remember him and all the great things. If I can be half the man he was, I’ll be a great guy. ”
Adds Dana about the fact that Chris is no longer here: “There’s definitely some peace … but he had much more living to do.”