Dog the Bounty Hunter says the family's trying its best to celebrate the life of his wife ... but her death came unexpectedly, so they're hurting pretty bad right now.
Duane "Dog" Chapman spoke outside his Honolulu home Wednesday night about Beth's passing, saying it's a terrible time ... but he's feeling the love and support from millions around the world.
He also joked that on the bright side -- Beth would appreciate being famous in death ... getting to #1 trending on Twitter.
Dog got serious and emotional talking about her death, though ... revealing it came really fast and -- despite knowing the day would come as she battled cancer -- the family wasn't prepared for it.
He said ... "This cancer gig, of course, we gotta find a cure, because all we have now is some get lucky, but most pass away."
Chapman also cautioned any fans donating money to the family for Beth, telling them to save their cash because they're good on funds right now.
Dog then said he's still feeling Beth's presence ... and had some final words for her.
We broke the story ... Beth died Wednesday in a Honolulu hospital, days after being placed in a medically-induced coma. She had a years-long battle with cancer, which ultimately took her life.
She was 51. RIP.