Liam Neeson Reveals Grief Over Wife Natasha Richardson’s Death

For the first time Liam Neeson has spoken about how he coped with the death of wife Natasha Richardson in 2009.

“I think I survived by running away some. Running away to work,” Neeson told Esquire magazine.

Natasha died while skiing with her family in Canada, aged only 45.

“It hits you in the middle of the night – well, it hits me in the middle of the night,” says Neeson, 58.

“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.”

The actor plunged himself into work less than a month after her death, filming “Clash of the Titans.” But he admits the pain caught up.

“That’s the weird thing about grief,” he adds. “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.”

Speaking about the tragedy, he described what happened after he arrived at the hospital.

“I walked into the emergency – it’s like 70, 80 people, broken arms, black eyes, all that – and for the first time in years, nobody recognizes me,” he recalls. “Not the nurses. The patients. No one. And I’ve come all this way, and they won’t let me see her. And I’m looking past them, starting to push – I’m like, ‘F—, I know my wife’s back there someplace.”

“I pull out a cell phone, and a security guard comes up, starts saying, ‘Sorry, sir, you can’t use that in here,’ and I’m about to ask him if he knew me, when he disappears to answer a phone call or something. So I went outside. It’s freezing cold, and I thought: ‘What am I gonna do? How am I going to get past the security?’

“And I see two nurses, ladies, having a cigarette,” he continues. “I walk up, and luckily one of them recognizes me. And I’ll tell you, I was so f—ing grateful – for the first time in I don’t know how long – to be recognized. And this one, she says, ‘Go in that back door there.’ She points me to it. ‘Make a left. She’s in a room there.’ So I get there, just in time.”

“And all these young doctors, who look all of 18 years of age, they tell me the worst,” Neeson says, pursing his lips. “The worst.”

Neeson has been dating British businesswoman Freya St Johnston since September last year and has replaced Mel Gibson in the upcoming Hangover movie sequel.