It’s been nearly 10 years since Martin Short tragically lost his beloved wife, actress Nancy Dolman, to ovarian cancer, but time hasn’t made her death any easier. During a new interview with AARP The Magazine, the 68-year-old comedian candidly opened up about his wife’s passing and revealed life has been “tough” without her by his side.

“Our marriage was a triumph. So it’s tough. She died in 2010, but I still communicate with her all the time. It’s ‘Hey Nan,’ you know? How would she react to this decision or that, especially regarding our three kids,” Martin said, referring to his adult children, Katherine Short, 35, Oliver Short, 32, and Henry Short, 29.

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Martin, Nancy and their three kids.

“I believe that when people die, they zoom into the people that love them,” Martin continued. “The idea that it just ends, and don’t speak of them — that’s wrong … to me, she’s still here.” The Father of the Bride star added that losing Nancy has helped him appreciate life even more. “With real tragedy, you become a little more daring. It’s the yin to the yang: the positive part of life’s dark side,” he shared.

As he grows older, the actor confessed his main goal is to simply be happy and enjoy every day. “My life lists are more pragmatic. For decades, I’ve maintained a [bucket] list according to several categories of well-being: health, family, friends, money, career, creativity, self-discipline and lifestyle,” Martin told the magazine. “Periodically I give myself a report card … Health: Have I had my annual physical? Friends: Do I need to phone so-and-so? To me, life is a practical experience each day, with a coating of ‘Be as happy as you can be’ on top.”

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Martin additionally opened up about losing his wife in his 2014 memoirI Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend. “I’m still very much married to Nancy. In our 36 years together, we became so intimately familiar with the workings of each other’s minds that I can convincingly play out the conversations we would be having today, about things that postdate Nancy’s death,” he sweetly wrote.