Helena Bonham Carter is opening up about the “massive grief”; she felt on the end of her 13-year relationship with director Tim Burton.

“With divorce, you go through massive grief – it is a death of a relationship, so it’s utterly bewildering. Your identity, everything, changes,”; the actress tells Harper’s Bazaar of her 2014 split.

The pair met on the 2001 set of Burton’s “Planet Of The Apes”; remake, the first of their six films together. They share two children, 12-year-old Billy and 9-year-old Nell. Bonham Carter and Burton never married, no co-habited. Instead, the unconventional duo lived in adjoining houses in London.

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The 49-year-old actress said she longed for tape on her forehead that read “handle with care”; to alert people that she wasn’t herself at the moment. “Everyone always says you have to be strong and have a stiff upper lip, but it’s okay to be fragile,”; she said. “You’ve got to take very small steps, and sometimes you won’t know where to go next because you’ve lost yourself.”;

The actress has been able to heal her heartbreak enough to work with Burton on her upcoming film, “Alice Through The Looking Glass”;. Bonham Carter reprises her role as the Queen Of Hearts from the Burton-directed “Alice In Wonderland”; film. Though he’s not directing this time around, Burton is serving as an executive producer.

“We really do get on, so that’s good. I understand him very well and he understands me,”; she says of their current relationship. “It might be easier to work together without being together any more. He always only cast me with great embarrassment.”;

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The film has given her some inspiration, as well. “There’s a great quote I’ve stuck next to the kettle. It’s from Alice: ‘I can’t explain myself… because I’m not myself.'”;

Bonham Carter is still dealing with a very different kind of loss following the death of her “Alice”; and “Harry Potter”; series co-stars, Alan Rickman. “That was a total shock. It was too soon. He really was an extraordinary man,”; she says of the late actor.

Rickman, who voiced the blue caterpillar in “Alice In Wonderland”;, once again voices the character – who has now blossomed into a butterfly – in the upcoming sequel. “[He had] such emotional generosity,”; she said. “I thought there was something very poignant about the fact that he had become a butterfly.”;