Liam Neeson on losing Natasha Richardson: ‘I think I survived by running away’
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As the two-year anniversary of Natasha Richardson‘s sudden death approaches, her widower, Liam Neeson, is opening up about the tragic events leading up to her passing and how he’s handled his grief.
Speaking to Esquire, Neeson recalled the frightening moments in March 2009 after Richardson was admitted to a hospital for a head injury suffered while skiing.
‘I walked into the emergency -- it’s like 70, 80 people, broken arms, black eyes, all that -- and for the first time in years, nobody recognizes me,’ the actor said. ‘Not the nurses. The patients. No one. And I’ve come all this way, and they won’t let me see her,’ he recalls.
Eventually two young nurses on a smoke break took mercy on Neeson and pointed him in the right direction.
‘So I get there, just in time. And all these young doctors, who look all of 18 years of age, they tell me the worst ... the worst,’ he said.
At 58, Neeson is still a bona fide action star, but said he realizes the work is fleeting if he doesn’t train properly. That work, in turn, eased his grief.
‘I think I survived by running away some. Running away to work. Listen, I know how old I am and that I’m just a shoulder injury from losing roles. ... It’s easy enough to plan jobs, to plan a lot of work. That’s effective. But that’s the weird thing about grief. You can’t prepare for it,’ Neeson said.
‘You think you’re gonna cry and get it over with. You make those plans, but they never work.’
-- Matt Donnelly