Burke, 29, died last January after a crash at the bottom of a superpipe during a training run in Park City, Utah. The couple had married in 2010.
"My life's changed drastically," Rory, choking up, says in a clip of the show (watch below). "I lost my wife. I had it all. I still have a lot. I'm thankful for everything I have, but I had it all."
His devotion to his wife palpable, Bushfield is not afraid to hide his grief while also praising her as a pioneer who "was leaps and bounds beyond everyone else in her sport."
"Sarah was my dream girl before she knew who I was," he says. "A lot of the craziest things I ever did were just kind of to impress Sarah."
Case in point: He proposed by spelling out "Marry Me Sarah" in rocks in a remote snow-covered field near Whistler, then flew her over the field to see it, according to his Splash bio.
Now, as a contestant on ABC's celebrity diving competition, Bushfield knows exactly what Sarah would say to buck him up before a big dive.
"If Sarah was here she'd tell me to land on my head – and not be a baby," says Bushfield, who is competing with a ruptured eardrum – forcing his training to take place on land and not in the water.
"When I talk to Sarah, I look up," he says. "This week I'm going to do a front one-and-a-half, land on my head, and prove to Sarah I'm not a baby. I can do this."
Splash airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.