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Natasha Richardson: Liam Neeson Opens Up About Tragedy

    July 30, 2014
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Natasha Richardson died in 2009 after a tragic ski accident in which she injured her head, but her husband, Liam Neeson, says the loss of his love still doesn’t feel real. Now, the actor is dealing with another family tragedy after his 31-year old nephew tumbled 20 feet from a telephone box and is in critical condition, and the accident has understandably brought Natasha’s death to the front of his mind.

Neeson has spoken about Richardson’s death in the past, but in a recent interview with Loaded Magazine, he says that five years hasn’t made much difference when it comes to mourning.

“Her death was never real. It still kind of isn’t,” he said.

Neeson was given the extremely difficult task of making the decision to take Richardson off life support after the accident left her in a vegetative state, and said the two of them made a pact not to let the other linger should the situation ever arise.

“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’,” he said.

The star of Taken says that one bright spot to be found surrounding Natasha’s death is that she was an organ donor, and he was happy to find out that three people had benefited from her generosity.

“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,” he said.

Richardson also lives on through her many film and television contributions; she starred in Nell, Evening, and The Parent Trap.

Image via Wikimedia Commons


  • gsplady@gmail.com

    I had to make a similar decision with my late husband. It was not easy, and yet, we had made a decision like Ms. Richardson that we would not stay “alive” just hooked up to tubes. I empathize with Mr. Neeson and his family that there is pain, there is loss, but there is also the peace that comes in knowing that the wishes of the person who we loved were honored.

  • Christine Flowers

    That is the true essence of love.

  • Kotzebue

    My husband hit his head, and died from a fall seven years ago, I miss him every minute of everyday. They say time heals, it doesn’t, it just takes you to a place you don’t want to be. I would give the rest of my life to be with him one more time.

    • cary simmons

      I am so, so sorry for your loss. My mom died in 2012. Feels like yesterday.

      • Kotzebue

        Thank you Cary, I’m very sorry for your loss, too. Wishing you the best in your future,

  • Eric The Redhearted

    Poor guy. She was a wonderful lady.

  • RalphJ_Kramden

    Don’t forget the movie about TS Eliot.

  • Maxine O

    I lost my son to a head injury 1 1/2 years ago. Sometimes it is just surreal! He to was an organ donor but when he was taken off life support he lived two more days. Very difficult time but knew he would not have wanted to be left in a vegetative state either as we had discussed it . Miss him so much and know the pain and loss Mr. Neeson has felt.

  • lydiaferguson

    that is so heartbreaking, may you find peace

  • lindy west

    I admire his courage and dedication. The loss never truly stops hurting. Yet, life moves forward. Much courage and support for his recent family accident….

  • ekayr

    Sad, I had to do the same thing with my husband. I think of him almost daily still. He was the love of my life. Haven’t considered dating until now ,while my youngest is now in college. Who knows maybe that won’t happen either. When one experiences deep , deep love; it’s difficult to imagine another, but I don’t feel empty. I know where he is at.

  • Isbonifacio

    I lost my wife to cancer many years ago and there are still times when I feel like Mr. Neeson, that it isn’t real. I raised our two children myself. She never got to see them graduate from high school or college and her absence is always felt at those milestone events. I can truly understand Liam Neeson’s grief and sense of loss. Bless you Mr. Neeson.

  • Jessyca

    Wasn’t it so she skied without any helmet and refused treatment immediately after??? Of course its tragic especially for her 2 sons but accidents like that happen.I lost my dad when I was 7 kinda suddenly and I tell you still feels it ain’t real, it still bothers me after all those years.For him Mr..Beeson himself life will go on and he will be able to find love again, the kids have lost their own and only mum.

    • mashman

      The problem as that the resort where she had an accident did not have an MRI machine. Had she gotten an MRI, which is typical with head injuries, they likely would have found the injury, and kept her in the hospital.

      The accident occurred in Canada, and there, since they have a single payer system, costs must be tightly controlled, so it did not make sense to have an MRI somewhere it would not be often used. I the US, healthcare is paid by insurance companies, so everyone who buys the same policy is entitled to the same care, so MRI machines are much more common, even in places where they might be often used. The honest truth is that had the accident occurred in Aspen, or another US resort, she most likely would not have died.

      • herecomesjohnny321

        Mashman you liar. I happen to be both Canadian and know the details of Natasha Richardson’s tragedy.
        FIrst of all, Canadians have MRI available to them just as Americans do. But that has absolutely nothing to do with this case.
        Ms. Richardson was told by the Canadian emergency crew that the fact that she felt completely fine could be misleading; she could still have dangerous troubles later on, and the earlier those are taken care of the better.
        But she disagreed and told them she was certain she would be fine.
        The emergency crew insisted that she goes with them, to a hospital for an MRI – she refused. Twice.
        They then told her that if she should feel anything out of the ordinary, anything at all, to immediately call them.
        She started having a headache later that night, and in the morning emergency was called again. By the time they reached hospital it was obvious that she suffered from brain swelling (she had water coming out of her mouth and nose – its the water that brain floats in, and when brain swells, that water is pushed out).
        Liam Neesen made a decision to fly her immediately to a hospital in the US, not because there was no care available in Montreal where they were, but probably due to being more familiar with US hospitals, insurance and so on.
        As is usually the case with these kinds of injuries, she died not long after all that. The brain gets injured from all the swelling and there is very little that can be done at that point.
        Such a tragedy should NEVER be used as for promoting a personal or political agenda.
        In the US, 25% of people are satisfied with quality of health care. In Canada 86% of people are satisfied with their health care. In Canada almost 100% of people do NOT want US type health care.
        And to top it all off, on average, Canadians have longer life spans than Americans whose life span is among the lowest in the developed world – on par with Cuba.

  • Tony Ventana

    “The White Countess” film was one of her best performances, with Ralph Fiennes as the blind protagonist.