Patrick Swayze's widow still texts her late husband.

Lisa Niemi - who admits she has struggled to come to terms with life without the actor who died of cancer aged 57 last September - has continued her tradition of texting him before boarding a flight.

She told People magazine: "I just put what I always did, 'I love you'. And then I cry for a little bit to myself.

"It didn't come back. So either somewhere out there he received it, or someone's going, 'Somebody loves me!' And you know what? I figured it was a win-win situation."

Lisa - who was married to the 'Dirty Dancing' star for 34 years - has also spoke about her difficult decision to bring Patrick home to die and how she struggled not to "freak out".

She explained: "It was tough. It was just my sense of that's what he might have wanted.

"I like to think he knew I was there. I was always afraid I'd freak out. To have your soul mate leave you, it was definitely overwhelming, but at the same time I knew he was in a better place because he had used every ounce of that body."

It was also a struggle for Lisa to stay positive after the death of her husband's favourite horse - a white stallion named Kuhaylan Roh - this summer.

She said: "I just have to think, Patrick must have needed his horse."

Despite her grief, 54-year-old Lisa - who is planning to appear on the 'Stand Up To Cancer' TV benefit to help generate funds for research towards a cure - is slowly adjusting to life without her husband.

She said: "I know he wanted me to be OK. And I am stronger now. The fact that I've had some good days definitely gives me hope that I can have more."