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Celeb news: Liam Neeson opens up about Natasha Richardson's death for the first time

You might need tissues to read this one, you guys.

Legendary, kind-eyed action hero Liam Neeson has spoken about the death of his beloved wife, actress Natasha Richardson, for the first time since she died in 2009.

His candid interview with 60 Minutes in America is terribly, terribly sad. He cries, and if you have a heart, you probably will too.

Neeson, now 61, lost his beautiful wife at the age of 45. She was in a skiing accident on the slopes in Canada and due to the brain damage she suffered, he made the harrowing decision to let her go.

The Schindler’s List actor has never really spoken about the grief he survived, and it’s not entirely clear why he chose now to do so. Perhaps he was just ready to talk.

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

He told host Anderson Cooper what it was like arriving that day in a Canadian hospital, where doctors told him Richardson was brain dead from swelling of the brain caused by her fall on the 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.'”

Neeson kept his wife alive  long enough for her family members and friends to say goodbye. As he watched them farewell his great love, he made the decision to donate her organs.

“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,” says Neeson.

He adds that he’s still struggling with the grief of his loss: “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.”

For the interview, Anderson flew to Neeson’s home town of Ballymena outside Belfast in Northern Ireland.

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