Ready Your Kleenex: Liam Neeson Talks Natasha Richardson
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Ready Your Kleenex: Liam Neeson Talks Natasha Richardson

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrities Are Better than You | February 21, 2014 | Comments ()

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On Sunday’s 60 Minutes, in an interview with Anderson Cooper, Liam Neeson will make us cry hysterically, and not even ACoopz’s supple pout will make us feel better.

“[Her death] was never real. It still kind of isn’t,” he tells Cooper. “There’s periods now in our New York residence when I hear the door opening, especially the first couple of years…anytime I hear that door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her.”

He recounts arriving in a Canadian hospital, where doctors told him Richardson was brain dead from swelling of the brain caused by her fall on the slopes. “She was on life support…I went in to her and I told her I loved her, said ‘Sweetie, you’re not coming back from this, you’ve banged your head’…she and I had made a pact, if any of us got into a vegetative state that we’d pull the plug…that was my immediate thought…’Okay, these tubes have to go. She’s gone.’”

Neeson says he did keep his wife alive for a short period so family members and friends could say their goodbyes. Then it was decided his dead wife would help keep others alive.

“Donated three of her organs, so she’s keeping three people alive at the moment…her heart, her kidneys and her liver. It’s terrific…and I think she would be very thrilled and pleased by that,” says Neeson.

But the grief remains. “It hits you. It’s like a wave. You just get this profound feeling of instability…the Earth isn’t stable anymore and then it passes and it becomes more infrequent, but I still get it sometimes,” he tells Cooper.


Gutted. Ugh. If you need me, I’ll be crying under my desk.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Nadiney

    jesus fucking Christ. I AM AT WORK. SOBBING IS NOT APPROPRIATE.

  • Nadiney

    I love them both so much for having had that conversation already, following it through, and for donating her organs. Just .... Jesus fucking christ.

  • Jezebeelzebub

    My mom died this past July and I'm not sure what Big Cosmic Lesson I was supposed to have learned, other than watching other people grieve makes your own grieving that much more painful. That was a lesson I could have done without, really... I sort of knew that already.

    I think about my mom every day and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I don't like thinking about her because I miss her so much. I don't think I would like not thinking about her, though, because that would mean I have forgotten her, and I don't ever want to do that. She was a great mom and a wonderful person.

  • Berry

    I'm sorry for your loss. This probably won't help much, but my mom died almost 26 years ago, and I still think about her most days. It's not something that goes away really, but it's not as acutely or sharply painful anymore.

    I remember people telling me that I would learn to appreciate that hardship in my life, because it would make me stronger. Well, I'm still waiting for that to happen. And back then I just thought it was a weird thing to say, but thinking about it now makes me pretty mad. I don't give a lot of advice, but this is one piece of advice I feel comfortable in giving to anyone: if you ever have to comfort a child who has lost a parent, don't tell them it will be a good thing in the long wrong. That's a lie, and a stupid one at that.

    Again, sorry for your loss. You have my compassion, for what it's worth.

  • annie

    I probably could've made it through this if it weren't for that picture of them, just really still in love. Thanks. THANKS PAJIBA YOU BASTARD

  • Berry

    We just learned that a friend of my husbands, whose work took her to places like Somalia, has died in a car accident. She was pregnant.

  • Chub Rub

    Love them. I miss her too and of course, not nearly as much as him. And her poor children were with her. SAD.

  • EA

    Poor thing.. What a guy?!

  • Disraeli99

    He describes the feelings regarding the lingering grief I feel for my Dad. It IS like a wave that washes over you, it comes out of seemingly nowhere, leaves you feeling discombobulated and empty and so hurt... then it passes and the cycle of restoring the semblance of togetherness and normalcy of your life resumes. You don't get over it, you just learn to deal with it. I'm glad the grief comes in the waves... could stand it if it was unremitting or unrelenting. Big old hug to Mr. Neeson. I know how you feel.

  • malarija

    I lost my husband almost a year ago to heart attack, he was in his thirties I'm in my twenties. You just can't imagine those feelings and I'm glad you can't, those are not 'feels', those are knives through the heart and brain all day every day and then some. You get use to the pain but it surprises you every once in a while, I think those waves Neeson talks about will never stop....

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Can we please stop with the "feels" bullshit?

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Sorry, I know that sounds "bah humbug" but there are certain phrases that get overused online that drive me batshit. "Totes adorbs" is another one. Does anyone really talk like that?

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Her death hit me incredibly hard and I wasn't even a fan. She always looked so full of life, so happy and vivacious, that it seemed so terribly cruel that she died so senselessly. She's one of the few celebrities that I cried over. I still miss her.

  • Bea Pants

    Dammit, man! I already have intense feels going on!

  • The Replicant Brooke

    Jesus Christ I can't...ugh.

  • Jim

    Ok, I really am crying. I can related to temporarily forgetting, for months after my Mom died, I must have picked up the phone dozens of times to call and tell her something.

  • I still start dialing my little brother's number. It's been four months now, and I still do it. I did that when my Dad died too. I don't know that you ever get (or that I'd even want to get) to a point of not seeing something and thinking "I need to tell him this" before the "oh, wait" hits you.

  • Jim

    I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds trite but you will get past this to a place where it becomes "They would have loved this" and it's a warm remembrance rather than a sharp sense of loss. In your own time as grief has a very personal timetable.

  • Legally Insignificant

    The scene in Love Actually where Liam Neeson's movie wife dies touches me a little more deeply because his real wife died. My wife and I have only been married for 1 1/2 years (to the day) and I'd be absolutely, forget-to-eat-or-shower lost without her. I can't imagine what he went/is going through.

  • anna_k

    Not that this post needs more tears, but what he said about donating her organs reminded me of my absolute favourite letter from Letters of Note, by Ken Kesey:

  • sourbob

    Natahsa Richardson likely had what is known as "talk and die."

    In these cases, a serious brain injury is sustained, but the person seems to be able to operate normally, even as their brain is rapidly deteriorating.

  • alannaofdoom

    Fighting the tears to deliver this PSA: everyone should have a living will, or at the very least discuss with your loved ones what medical interventions you do and don't want in cases like this. I barely made it through that discussion with my parents (basically by thinking to myself, "la la la I'll never need to do this, they will live forever of course") but it's vitally important.

  • Steve

    No kidding. At least when the living will has been made, the wishes have been made known. The beeping room is no place to make that kind of decision. My dad had no such will, but luckily (?) he declined fast enough to basically take it out of our hands.

  • Ozioma

    I'm not crying. I'm just uncontrollably leaking saline out of my eyes.

  • MichaelAndTheArgonauts

    Go watch The Grey. Neeson channels his grief into an incredible and deeply personal performance. How he did not win an Oscar for that is a crime against love.

  • That movie is criminally underrated.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I have a father who is chronically ill and there is nothing worse than going to the hospital thinking 'this time, this is it'. Losing someone that you love so dearly is something that stays with you, no matter how many years have passed.

    I've told Mr. Syndrome he's not allowed to die unless he convinces Idris Elba to take his place.

    Also, this whole post made me feel like this:

  • Mentalcase

    HA! That's totally my dog. Wraps himself up every night. Damn, I wonder if he's depressed. Can anybody recommend a good canine shrink?

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Steak. Steak is the only shrink my dog has ever needed.

  • emmalita

    My sympathies. I went through that with my mom two years ago and watched my dad go through it again with his best friend a few weeks ago.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Thank you. It's a bitch, isn't it?

  • emmalita

    It really is. The best advice I got during that time was, "this is no time to diet or quit drinking". A real life therapist to whom I was paying money said that to me. Which makes it sound mental health advice.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    That is an awesome therapist.
    I have never in my life found a good time to diet.
    Or quit drinking.
    My daddy taught me to never be a quitter.

  • BWeaves

    I love that GIF. Thank you.

  • Salad_Is_Murder

    I'm not crying, I've just been cutting onions...I'm making a lasagna for one. And for your information there's an inflammation in my tear gland.

  • narfna


    When I got to the part about her heart keeping somebody alive my stomach fell out of my butt because of sadness.

  • the dude

    Okay, serious question. When you say you are crying about a thing like this... Are you really phisically crying or just sad to read it?

  • JoannaRobinson

    The actual, literal tears started flowing at "sweetie."

    For me.

    Court's dead inside.

  • I'm only mostly dead!

    The sweetie part DESTROYED ME. Tears were spilled.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I started crying at the title.

  • anikitty

    I haven't lost anyone young but to know that her heart still beats and brings joy to another family is beautiful and bittersweet.

  • And you just know Neeson is the kind of guy who wouldn't cry in front of others, not out of pride or anything, but because he wants to support everyone else first. But then he gets a moment alone, and his shoulder quiver a bit, and...


  • Dumily

    I was almost able to keep it together until he said "you've banged your head."

  • My office is a lot dustier than usual at the moment.

  • NateMan

    I've told my wife she needs to let me die first. I don't know if she realizes how serious I am. If I lose her or my Smudge, well... I'll probably drink myself into an early grave, and I know it.

  • AvaLehra

    I told my husband I will probably die first, but I also gave him a list of criteria for his next wife/stepmother of my child. And I told him, "If you violate any of the items on this list, I will come back and HAUNT YOUR ASS." What can I say? I'm a romantic softie...

  • emmalita

    My bff has requested that her ashes be turned into fake diamond jewelry and given to wife #2 so that she will always know she is being watched.

  • Chicken Lips

    Might be cheaper to dump them in a gallon of ceiling paint for hubby and wife #2's bedroom ceiling.

  • emmalita

    I'll suggest that to her.

  • iamuhura

    Dayyyyyuuuuummmm. *writes down idea*

  • I told my husband the only way I want us to go is very Fastball "The Way" (just the song version, not the way the story it's based on ended). I spent his drinking days so convinced I would lose him, I don't know how to begin to comprehend losing him the way he is now. Like he's supposed to be eternal now that he's sober.

    And my kid? I don't even. I CAN'T EVEN.

  • Berry

    I have the same deal with my husband. None of my loved ones are allowed to die before me anymore, and that's just all there is to it.

  • ikoihil

    When you lose loved ones (either in an unexpected way, like murder or an accident - or in a way that gives you time to prepare, like cancer), you learn that no matter how much control you try to assert over death, it is just one thing that you cannot influence. You cannot cheat death, or make deals with it. Death is the great equalizer, which we all have in common. It baffles me why people fear it so much, or try and control it.

  • Berry

    I'm not sure I ever learned anything from it, except that it hurts like a mother-fucker.

  • ikoihil

    There's the issue. Always learn something from death. It might take a while to do it, but it helps the pain in the long run.

  • Mrs. Julien

    We have an agreement that neither of us is allowed to die FULL STOP.

  • MrMinion

    Look, I don't know about your family, but in mine everyone would be all "Now, let's not be hasty here."

  • Jeez Courtney. You can't go from "ha, ha celebs" to "ALL THE FEELZ" like that in one day. Give us some padding or something.

    Now, if you don't mind, I am going to pretend like this didn't punch me in the soul.

  • Maydays

    Oh, to be so deeply loved. It's the beauty of it that makes it so tragic. If we want to get all Gibran-y about it.

  • Modernlove

    Somehow the rain outside is now inside. And on my face. How on earth did that happen?

  • thatsmrsnyder

    Dammit. And I was having a happy day.

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