Joely Richardson opens up on coping with the loss of sister Natasha

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been eight months since the shocking ski accident that led to the death of celebrated actress Natasha Richardson. For the first time, Natasha’s younger sister, actress Joely Richardson, has spoken publicly about the loss. The “Nip/Tuck” star is currently promoting her work in the Showtime series “The Tudors” and was asked about her sister’s death. She responded by saying that she coped by throwing herself into work.

Eight months after the death of her beloved sister, Joely Richardson has revealed how she threw herself into work to cope with the loss.

Miss Richardson, 44, spoke of the tragedy for the first time since Natasha died after a skiing accident, aged 45.

‘We were such opposites, but completely enmeshed in each other,’ she said.

Miss Richardson went back on set the day after her sister’s funeral as she was in the middle of filming the BBC’s new version of The Day of the Triffids. She then moved on to playing Catherine Parr in The Tudors.

She said: ‘A strange autopilot kicks in; your psyche puts your work day into a different compartment from your private life. I’m not kidding – my first shot back on set was reacting to someone dying.’

But she told Tatler magazine this week that she is finally in the mood ‘for a big travel somewhere’.

She is also moving to New York with her daughter Daisy for two months to be closer to Natasha’s sons, Micheal, 14, and Daniel, 13.

Miss Richardson spoke of her shock at her sister’s death, saying: ‘I hadn’t lived a day in my life without her. You worry about your children and your elders, but I never imagined such a thing as this. Tash was a given to me.

‘The shock shatters you on a cellular level, and it takes time for the pieces to come back together, albeit in a different formation.’

Natasha died while on holiday with her children in Canada. She fell and hit her head during a skiing lesson on the nursery slope at the Mount Tremblant resort and sustained a serious head injury.

Her husband, actor Liam Neeson, flew her to hospital near their home in New York, where she died on March 18.

Miss Richardson, who is dating Russian businessman Evgeny Lebedev, revealed how the sisters were particularly close after sharing a bohemian childhood with their unconventional parents, actress Vanessa Redgrave and the late Oscar-winning director Tony Richardson.

Miss Richardson said: ‘So much of what I am is who Tasha was, and I think, sharing all those formative years, there is level of merging. . . I cannot imagine that there will ever be a day when I don’t think of Tasha.’

When asked if she is coming to terms with Natasha’s death, Miss Richardson replied: ‘I don’t look at happiness as being a great goal. A sense of peace, definitely, but it’s like the seasons.

‘I think we’re meant to have a spring, summer, autumn and winter. I’m not looking for a perpetual summer because that would be a flat line.’

[From The Daily Mail]

It has to be devastating to lose a sibling, and it sounds like Joely and Natasha were very close. It will be nice for their children to be near one another for support, especially during the holidays. I know from experience how tough the holidays are after a loss. You keep wondering how different it would be if that loved one were still here.

Natasha Richardson’s husband, actor Liam Neeson, has had similar coping mechanisms to Joely’s: he, too, reported back to work soon after the accident. I think it’s a fairly common reaction to loss: the need to return to some aspect of a normal life. Back in August, Neeson revealed that the family had been encouraged by an outpouring of condolence letters and cards from fans. It was one of the main reasons he decided to apply for American citizenship.

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9 Responses to “Joely Richardson opens up on coping with the loss of sister Natasha”

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  1. Obvious says:

    I had no idea these two were sisters, but i love them both. I wish Joely and her family as well as Natasha’s family all the best during the holidays, it is one of the hardest things in the first year of a loss.

  2. Neelyo says:

    I really like this quote:

    When asked if she is coming to terms with Natasha’s death, Miss Richardson replied: ‘I don’t look at happiness as being a great goal. A sense of peace, definitely, but it’s like the seasons.

    ‘I think we’re meant to have a spring, summer, autumn and winter. I’m not looking for a perpetual summer because that would be a flat line.’

  3. Meow says:

    I just watched Love Actually again (favorite Christmas time film) and I had forgotten that Liam Neeson’s character loses his wife and consoles his son in the movie. It made watching those parts more somber, than they were before.

  4. lilred says:

    Wishing her peace during a very difficult time. It’s always hard but does get easier with time.

  5. Buckley says:

    How very lovely and eloquent.

    Natasha will always be missed.

  6. Parisienne says:

    it is very devastating to lose a sibling; it is really something you do not expect and than you feel like you lost someone who was there to support you through the lengths of your life but than :(

  7. Kathie says:

    I have lost both my siblings and it is like losing a chunk of your history, I have likened it to puzzle with a pieces missing, you learn to live around the void but it is always there. I agree with Joely we don’t expect to be happy, just able to be peaceful inside. God bless her and the rest of Natasha’s family it is a stupefying and tragic loss.

  8. Dirty Martini says:

    I once read a line that stuck with me and reflects how I’ve always felt about my brother:

    “Your siblings are the only people who go with you through your entire life”.

    I’m sorry Joely didn’t get to have that with Natasha.

  9. K McFarlane says:

    Gosh I still feel so incredibly sad when I see pictures of Natasha. I agree, it sounds like they were all so close.