Irish-born actor Liam Neeson is a spectacular actor, father of two kids and a still-grieving husband.
His wife, actress Natasha Richardson, died in 2009 two days after suffering a brain injury during a skiing accident. Neeson was in Toronto, Canada, filming the movie Chloe. In the March issue of Esquire magazine, Neeson talks about how when he finally arrived at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City to see his wife, he couldn’t find her. Never in his life had he ever wanted someone to actually recognize the star that he was so badly. Finally some nurses recognized him and told him where she was. After his beloved’s funeral, Neeson threw himself back into work.
“I just think I was still in a bit of shock,” he says. “But it’s kind of a no-brainer to go back to that work. It’s a wee bit of a blur, but I know the tragedy hadn’t just really smacked me yet.”
Two years later, he continues to work like a dog; his next movie, “Unknown,” is scheduled to open this weekend, while he has also started filming “Battleship.” “I think I survived by running away some. Running away to work,” he tells Esquire. “I stay with the training, I stay with the work. 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. You think you’re gonna cry and get it over with. You make those plans, but they never work. It hits you in the middle of the night — well, it hits me in the middle of the night. I’m out walking. I’m feeling quite content. And it’s like suddenly, boom. It’s like you’ve just done that in your chest.”
Although moments of joy may be few and far between for Neeson now – the exception being seeing his children smile - genConnect bereavement counselor Allison Daily says more joy will emerge from the grief in time. She herself needed to find joy after the death of her brother; she did so by remembering “the beautiful soul that he was.”
“There are no quick fixes or formulas to pain or grief or loss. What may work for one person, may not for another,” Daily says. “What I think the focus should be is: How do we honor and remember the loved one who left? Find ways to do that and see if there can be a form of joy in doing that.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with Liam Neeson and his family as they continue to search for that joy.
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