Credit: Randy Runner/

Image Credit: Randy Runner/ Almost two years since the unexpected death of Natasha Richardson at age 45, after a tragic, seemingly benign skiing accident, Liam Neeson has opened up at length about his wife’s death in a candid interview appearing in the March issue of Esquire magazine.

At first, Neeson tells author Tom Chiarella he’s “too vulnerable” to talk about Richardson’s death. But a short time later, he does open up about it — in emotional detail. Neeson recounts those first moments after arriving at the Montreal hospital where Richardson was taken, and how he actually had to search to find a member of the hospital staff who recognized him and let him in to see his wife: “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 eighteen years of age, they tell me the worst.”

Neeson tells Chiarella he thinks he survived his initial grief by going back to work (he was in the midst of shooting Atom Egoyan’s Chloe at the time). “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.” But he says he found getting back to work to be easier said than done. “That’s the weird thing about grief. You can’t prepare for it,” he says. “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.”