Singer Valerie Simpson is still struggling to come to terms with the 2011 death of her husband and longtime musical collaborator Nickolas Ashford because she feels like a part of her died with him.

Ashford lost his battle with throat cancer last August (11), just five months after he was diagnosed, and the mum of two, who was married to the star for 37 years, admits she was in denial until the very end.

Recalling their final moments together during an interview on U.S. Tv series Oprah's Next Chapter, which aired on Sunday (11Nov12), she said, "'My window was closing,' he said. 'There is something rising in me and I can't hold it anymore.' I said, 'Well, we're all going to make a transition,' I said, 'but can we just ask for an extension of time?'... He just shook his head and that was it... And the next morning he made that transition."

And the 66 year old reveals once he passed, she was left mourning not only her husband, but their artistic partnership as Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson.

She added, "When he passed it was like the passing of Ashford & Simpson for sure, so it was almost like seeing yourself pass away while you're still here... Ashford & Simpson can no longer be, so part of you has passed away."

But Simpson is slowly starting to heal: "I am growing every day, because truly somebody did pull the rug out from underneath me... He was an extraordinary man, it took me now realising what I had, I mean I knew it was good, but I had something great, somebody that allowed me to be who I am, cheering me on, watching me grow, a champion, and I for him."