Hollywood is known for its brief and tumultous marriages, but every once in awhile, one of them seems to show us what marriage is all about. Put Non-Stop star Liam Neeson and actress Natasha Richardson, who were married for 14 years, in that category. The couple had two children and a loving marriage up until the day Natasha suddenly had a freak skiing accident while on the beginner's trail in Quebec, Canada. Natasha at first seemed fine after the fall -- refusing medical care twice -- and returned to her hotel.
But about three hours later, she was rushed to the hospital complaining of a headache. Soon, she was brain dead and flown back to New York to be taken off life support. Liam hasn't said much about his wife's death since then. But now he's spoken out about his grief to Anderson Cooper.
When Neeson arrived at the hospital in Canada, he was told that his wife wouldn't make it. Liam now had a horrible decision to make.
He said he told his wife he loved her and:
Sweetie, you're not coming back from this. You banged your head. I don't know if you can hear me but this is what's going down. I'm bringing you back to New York. All your family and friends will come. And that was more or less it.
He went on to say that he and Natasha had a "pact" that if either one of them ever got into a vegetative state, the other one would do what needs to be done. But who ever imagines that will actually happen?
So few couples discuss this -- who wants to have this discussion? But it's an important one to have. This way you know your wishes will be carried out, and also the spouse is relieved of the agony of trying to make a decision without knowing exactly what you would have wanted.
Neeson also said that he still can't believe his wife, who died at 45, is gone, saying he still expects her to walk through the door any minute. I'm sure many widowers and widows feel the same.
What a horrifically terrible thing for Liam to have to go through -- but I'm sure Natasha is watching over him and knows how much she is loved.
The full interview will air this Sunday on 60 Minutes.
Do you discuss what to do in case of a situation like this with your spouse?
Image via CBS/60 Minutes