Most have you have probably heard that Natasha Richardson, 45, died on Wednesday. She fell while taking a ski lesson at Mont Tremblant, on a beginner trail. She got up laughing seemingly unhurt and refused medical treatment. An hour or so later, she developed a blinding headache. In less than 24 hours, she was declared brain dead, transported to New York so her family could say goodbye, and was removed from life support. This makes me feel sad... almost sick inside.
She got up Tuesday morning, just like we all did, thinking it would be an ordinary day. She had plans... probably had plans well into the future. She didn't think about her own mortality. She didn't expect that she would never again get out of bed to greet another morning. We don't go through our lives thinking about the accidents that might happen; we take our lives for granted unless we're diagnosed with some serious illness. It's sad when someone dies of an illness, but there is time... time to prepare, to say goodbyes and I-love-yous. A serious accident doesn't provide that opportunity. One minute, you're living life, and then life is gone, and the loved ones left behind are shocked and devastated.
She had two sons, ages 13 and 12. There's no good time to lose a parent, but they're too young to have it happen to them. There are so many events and rights of passage in their lives when they will miss her: first dates, prom nights, graduations, weddings and more. And there will be ordinary days when they'll feel the hole she's left behind, when they just need their mother's arms around them. Even big boys need hugs from time to time.
Natasha was a classy lady. She and Liam Neeson had been married for 14 years. She led a quiet life, that kept her name out of the tabloids. Her boys were unrecognizable to the public, which probably allowed them to lead fairly normal lives. She was a talented actress who chose meaty roles in Hollywood and Broadway. She leaves an excellent example for celebrities to follow.
Perhaps she leaves an example for us as well. Maybe we'll appreciate life and those we love a little bit more... even for a few minutes.