Conservative peer Lord Tebbit said his late wife Margaret died without ever forgiving the IRA terrorists who ruined her life.
Lady Tebbit passed away at the couple's Suffolk home in the early hours of Saturday morning - 36 years after being left paralysed from the neck down by the bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton.
Her grieving husband told the Belfast Telegraph he would miss the laughter they shared together during 64 years of marriage.
"Margaret had been ill for a long, long time but even then I wasn't prepared for losing her," the 89-year-old said.
"When one knows that it could happen at any time, one is prepared in one sense but, in the other, it always comes as a shock.
"We all know we have to go some time but it was probably the best way she could go. Margaret was suffering from terrible Lewy Body Dementia, and it was gradually getting worse."
He added: "Most of all, I will miss laughing together at things that are happening around us."
Lord Tebbit and his wife were seriously injured when the IRA bomb - an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet - tore through the Victorian seafront hotel during the 1984 Tory party conference, killing five people and maiming another 31.
A photograph of the then 53-year-old Norman Tebbit, who was Trade Secretary in the Thatcher Government, being carried out of the wreckage became an iconic image following the October 12 attack.
Lady Tebbit subsequently spent two years undergoing treatment for severe spinal injuries and, although she recovered some use of her arms and hands, she remained wheelchair-bound for the rest of her life.
She also suffered from bouts of acute depression but, according to her husband, retained a strong sense of character, and had such resilience so as to not let anything defeat her.
"I'm glad to say that she never forgave those who blew up the Grand Hotel," Lord Tebbit remarked.
"We all know it's a Christian duty to forgive - but not those who will not repent, and of course the people who did this have never repented; they were joyful about what they had done."
Belfast IRA man Patrick Magee was convicted of planting the killer bomb and given eight life sentences at the Old Bailey in 1986, with a recommendation that he spend at least 35 years in jail.
He was released in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Lord Tebbit, who confirmed that his wife's death was not Covid-related, said his fondest memory of Margaret is "probably of taking her, after we were injured, on a trip to South Africa to the game parks and all those places that she was able to enjoy from the back of a Land Rover and to see the animals and to have the sheer fun of watching it all".
He said the secret of a long, successful relationship is "respect".
"Apart from affection, above all it's respect - you do need to have respect for each other."
Referring to their shared laughter, he said: "Just the other day, before she died, one of my friends had sent a hamper of goodies for Christmas and we took it upstairs to put it beside her bed. As we opened it all the goodies like Christmas puddings and plum sauce and that were coming out and she was enjoying that and laughing with us and it's not long after that that she just went in her sleep.
"The night carer came in to make sure she was comfortable and found that she was gone but still warm so she must've gone a few minutes earlier."
Lord Tebbit, a former MP for Chingford and an ex-Conservative party chairman, said he would be spending Christmas with his daughter Alison in Norfolk.
The family cannot think about a funeral until at least the middle of January, and he said they "won't know what the rules and restrictions will be until then" but they intend to have a ceremony in the cathedral in Bury St Edmonds and she will be cremated.
He added that they will have a celebration of her life on May 24, 2021, on what would have been her 87th birthday.
Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster offered her condolences to Lord Tebbit following his wife's death.
"Two lives altered so tragically by republican terrorists," said the DUP leader. "My deepest sympathies."
Victims campaigner Kenny Donaldson said his thoughts were with Lord Tebbit and the wider family circle at this difficult time.
He described him as "a tough talking, fearless politician who never subscribed to political correctness" and said he will always be known as the "man who cheated death".
"That act of barbarity saw the murder of five people but also Norman's life changed forever - but mostly that of his dear wife Margaret," said Mr Donaldson.
"Margaret was seriously injured and was left part paralysed and requiring to use a wheelchair."
He added: "In all of his political achievements and his often tough exterior Norman holds my respect for the manner in which he cared for his wife, he became her sole primary carer and was devoted to looking after her needs.
"He demonstrated unconditional love, something many of us fail to achieve."
Lord Tebbit, then a young pilot, married 22-year-old nurse Margaret Elizabeth Daines, one of nine children born to farmer Stan Daines and his wife Elsie in 1956 and the couple went on to have two sons and a daughter.
Later, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren would bring further joy to their lives.
Lady Tebbit became vice president of the spinal cord injury charity Aspire in 1995, and later appeared on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs programme when she spoke about the severe postnatal depression she suffered as a young mother, with her later physical disability following the bombing.
On that programme, she said: "I don't completely forget or forgive, but one has to completely look forward."
Lady Tebbit recalled being stirred from sleep by what she thought was "loud wind" blowing through the curtains.
The next thing she knew was an enormous crash as her bed nose-dived through four floors of the hotel. "It's a bomb," remarked her husband, adding "bloody Irish" after they'd crashed to the ground.
The time-delay bomb had been planted three weeks earlier and was primed to explode on the final day of the conference.
"I got injured and I had to learn to cope - I had no choice - but I am lucky," she later told interviewers.
Lord Tebbit, who was an outspoken critic of the IRA even before the Brighton bomb, told the Belfast Telegraph in 2015 of his anger at former Labour chief of staff Jonathan Powell's suggestion that the Provos should be legalised.
"We all know why they sought a ceasefire in the first place," he said. "It was because they were beaten, because their organisation was shot full of double or even triple agents and the leadership was afraid that, before long, they would be charged with the crimes which they had committed."
One of Margaret Thatcher's top ministers, who was seriously injured in the Brighton hotel bombing of 1984, said his priority remains looking after his wife, not reading the memories of the man who caused her injuries.