Dog the Bounty Hunter contemplated what would happen if he killed himself after his wife, Beth Chapman, died from cancer ... and it shows just how far he's come in dealing with his grief.
Dog talked about having suicidal thoughts on the season finale of "Dog's Most Wanted" Wednesday night -- which captured the raw moments after Beth passed -- saying ... "I just hope that I don't live very much longer without her."
Less than 12 hours after she died, Dog opened up to the cameras about how much he was hurting ... and wanting to take pain pills.
He said ... "I feel like if I did something to myself right now and passed away, suicidal, and I got to heaven, I'd go, 'Hi, honey!' and she'd be like, would she go, 'You dumb ass, why did you do that?' or would she go, 'Wow, you're here!'"
Dog then struggled to fight back tears.
Sources close to Dog tell TMZ ... he watched the emotional episode with some loved ones, including his son, Garry, and his personal adviser, Richard Moore, at his Colorado home. We're told they all cried together, but Dog was able to get a little closure and realized he's going to pull through.
Our sources say Dog watching himself contemplate suicide has inspired him to encourage people to seek help during their darkest moments and remember the pain becomes manageable over time ... especially with a support system.