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VIDEO: Grieving Ryan O' Neal On Life After Farrah

Jul. 21 2009, Published 11:40 a.m. ET

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Ryan O'Neal, less than a month removed from the death of longtime love, Farrah Fawcett, told The Today Show Tuesday that he's gradually adapting to life without Fawcett, and keeping his strength for his convicted son, Redmond.

He recalled holding the phone to Fawcett's ear so she could communicate with her son one last time, hoping it would make a positive impression on the troubled 24-year-old.

Said the actor: “I held the phone to her ear, so I’m not exactly sure, but I think it was about regret. And the horror of, of not being able to see her again. And the promise -- the promise of a good life. Of a life that she would have be proud of."

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He described the longstanding vigil he held, after the doctor's predictions had become grave on June 24.

“Dr. Piro thought she would live just another couple of hours -- she lived a couple of days,” O’Neal said. “I had a bed put in the room for me. And I just lay by her side. And she wouldn’t -- move on. She wouldn’t pass. She just, she just looked at us with a slight smile. It was awful. And then, all of the sudden, the machines flat-lined. After about 16 hours she was gone.”

He said he has been occupying his time, as of late, responding to the well-wishers that have supported him and Fawcett through the tragic ordeal.

"That’s my life now; it’s going to take a while,” O’Neal said. “I have launched into this massive job of answering the mail…hundreds and hundreds of letters of pain and sorrow and hope. So I’m answering them. Every one.”

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