Natasha Richardson Tragic Death Still Haunts Liam Neeson

Sheri Reed

Liam Neeson Esquire coverIn no way is it surprising that actor Liam Neeson is still haunted and still grieving after the tragic loss of his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, who died after a skiing accident that resulted in a brain hemorrhage almost two years ago. It was sudden, and it was horrifying -- even to us as bystanders.

Liam opens up about the night of Natasha's horrible accident and how he's been coping since he lost her. Mostly he's been burying himself in movie making; however, the pain still creeps in. Hard and fast.

Liam Neeson has "two barrels" of sympathy letters he hasn't opened since his wife Natasha died in 2009. He immersed himself in work almost immediately, beginning work on Clash of the Titans less than a month after Natasha died. He told Esquire magazine:

I think I survived by running away some. Running away to work.

... that's the weird thing about grief. You can't prepare for it. You think you're gonna cry and get it over with. You make those plans, but they never work.
It hits you in the middle of the night -- well, it hits me in the middle of the night. I'm out walking. I'm feeling quite content. And it's like suddenly, boom. It's like you've just done that in your chest. [Here Neeson reaches out and twists both hands in opposite directions, like he's corkscrewing two ends of a soda can, reaches toward me so it's clear: This is in his chest]

Gosh, this is such an accurate description of how grief, particularly early grief, sneaks in. How often in those early months do we go about our lives and "forget" the pain for long moments and hours, only to once again remember our loss and have the pain sink in hard once again, just like it did the first time?

Liam also talks emotionally in the interview about arriving at the hospital that fateful night after Natasha's skiing accident. He had been in Montreal shooting a film when it happened, so you can imagine his anxiety in getting there and fast. Then the hospital staff inside didn't recognize him, and he had a tough time just getting to Natasha's side.

I see two nurses, ladies, having a cigarette. I walk up, and luckily one of them recognizes me. And I'll tell you, I was so f**king grateful -- for the first time in I don't know how long -- to be recognized. And this one, she says, 'Go in that back door there.' She points me to it. 'Make a left. She's in a room there.' So I get there, just in time. And all these young doctors, who look all of eighteen years of age, they tell me the worst. The worst.

There is nothing worse than a tragic death of a loved one. First, you must deal with the sudden shock and its tragic nature. Then there is the grief and loss on top of it. It's incredibly intense and painful. I feel for Mr. Neeson and the couple's two teenage sons. I can't imagine losing my spouse or my mother this way.

Do you relate to the way Neeson talks about the sneaky nature of grief?


Image via Esquire

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