Liam Neeson says grief of wife’s death ‘hits you like a wave’

Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson pictured in 2008.
Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson pictured in 2008.

Liam Neeson has spoken of the moment he realised his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, was dead following a ski accident in Canada.

The Ballymena-born actor spoke in an interview which airs in America on Sunday night.

His wife, the daughter of actress Vanessa Regrave, died aged 45 in a New York hospital in 2009.

Speaking to Anderson Cooper for CBS the Schindler’s List and Taken star said: “She was on life support... I went in to her and I told her I loved her. I said ‘Sweetie, you’re not coming back from this, you’ve banged your head’,” he said.

“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.’”

Almost five years on from his wife’s death the father-of-two said it still does not seem real.

“[Her death] was never real,” he told Cooper.

“It still kind of isn’t. 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 (the grief) 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.”