Feature

Neeson’s enduring grief

Liam Neeson’s emotions are still raw, said Tom Chiarella in Esquire.

Liam Neeson’s emotions are still raw, said Tom Chiarella in Esquire. Two years ago, his wife, the actress Natasha Richardson, suffered a brain hemorrhage after a minor fall on a beginner ski slope in Canada, and was rushed to a hospital in Montreal. Neeson had been filming in Toronto, and arrived at the hospital to find chaos. “I walked into the emergency room—it’s like 70, 80 people, broken arms, black eyes, and for the first time in years, nobody recognizes me. Not the nurses. The patients. No one. I’ve come all this way, and they won’t let me see her.”

Finally, a nurse helped him find his wife. “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.” He purses his lips, mouth dry. “The worst.” Shortly after Richardson’s funeral, he went back to work, still in shock. “But that’s the weird thing about grief. You can’t prepare for it. It hits you in the middle of the night. I’m out walking. I’m feeling quite intent. And it’s like suddenly, boom. It’s like you’ve done that in your chest.” He twists his hands, as though tearing his insides apart. “It’s just extraordinary.’’

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