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OTRC: Liam Neeson explains how he coped with his grief after wife's death

Liam Neeson in a scene from the 2011 film 'Unknown.' (Dark Castle Entertainment)

In a new interview with Esquire, actor Liam Neeson opened up about the death of his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, in 2009.

"I think I survived by running away some. Running away to work," Neeson tells the magazine. "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," Neeson added. "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."

Richardson died on March 18, 2009, after she sustained a severe head injury while skiing in Canada. The couple has two sons Michael and Daniel and were married on July 3, 1994.

Neeson recalled visiting the hospital to see his wife saying, "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. Not the nurses. The patients. No one. And I've come all this way, and they won't let me see her."

The actor then says he steps outside and one of two nurses on a smoke break finally recognizes the star. The nurse then tells him how to reach the room and Neeson says, "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 ... the worst."

Since the death of his wife, the actor has continued acting with roles in "Clash of the Titians" and "The A-Team." His newest film "Unknown" is due out on February 18, and he filmed a cameo in "The Hangover II."

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