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t1home.richardson.gi.jpgThe swirling news rumors about Natasha Richardson took the worst possible turn yesterday: the family friend who  told People magazine “there is no chance” for the actress’ recovery after a ski accident turned out to be right. Richardson died at age 45.

After her fall (on a beginner’s slope, apparently), Richardson was talking and joking with friends, until a headache prompted her to return to the hospital, where her health took such a serious turn. 

As CNN’s medical producer explains in this article, “minor” head injuries can turn out to be anything but–“It’s very common for someone who’s had a fall or been in a car accident
to appear perfectly lucid just after the impact but then to suddenly,
rapidly deteriorate.”

How are you reacting to this?  For me, in addition to feeling heartbroken for Richardson and her family (who we feel like we “know” because we know their theatrical work), I feel a tingle of anxiety.  It’s that “does not compute” feeling of, how can a person be laughing and talking one moment, and gone the next?  How can a person be pronounced “ok” after a fall but be brain-dead less than 24 hours later? 

This tragedy is, ultimately, not ours, but her family’s. I know I’m not the only one who’s picturing Liam Neeson’s heartbroken face as he clutched at his wife’s coffin in the movie “Love Actually….” 

What a delicate, fragile mystery are these bodies of ours….

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image: CNN.com
   

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