Natasha Richardson was a celebrated actress before her death five years ago; with credits in "The Parent Trap" and "Evening", her career spanned four decades and was still going strong when a tragic accident left her in a vegetative state. Now, her husband, Liam Neeson, opens up about his loss and the pact the two of them made before that fateful day on the ski 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'," he said.
Neeson, who has become known as an action star not to be messed with over the years, admits it's still hard to accept the loss of her even after all this time.
"[Her death] was never real. It still kind of isn't," he says in an interview with Anderson 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...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."
In an in-depth interview with Esquire from 2011, Neeson shared some very intimate scenes from his life post-Natasha, such as the fact that her dog, a tiny poodle, had mourned right along with him after her death and had seen him through it, attaching to him and making him her owner. In some ways, that was difficult in itself.
"It's Natasha's dog. A tiny, tiny little poodle. And I don't like walking it. I don't want my picture taken walking in the park with her poodle. Too dramatic, too sad. It's her dog. Hers. And people know that. So...It's a thing for me just now," he said.
These days, the action star takes comfort in the fact that Richardson was an organ donor who saved three lives.
"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.
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