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Liam Neeson on why you should talk to your kids about death

It's an issue close to the Northern Irish actor's heart.

Liam Neeson
Widower Liam Neeson has urged parents to speak to their children about death, as he talked about his new film A Monster Calls.
The Northern Irish actor, 64, stars in the movie about a young boy struggling to deal with his mother’s terminal illness.
Neeson plays ‘The Monster,’ who comes to visit young Conor each night, to help him fix his unhappy life.
And as the star gave promotional interviews for the movie, he also encouraged adults to talk to their children about death and loss.
The Taken star recently lost a relative to cancer, the disease that the mother in the film suffers with, and told interviewers: “If you have two weeks left or three weeks maximum, it's important that the family hears that and the kids hear it too.”
“The character of Conor is desperate to be told the truth and to hear, 'Oh, you wouldn't understand', is infuriating for a kid because they can take things on board.
“They may not intellectualise what they've heard but they can grow and eventually understand it. It's important to have support of family and close friends to lean on and talk to. Conor doesn't and that's why he conjures this essence, this creature to cope with it."
Liam lost his wife, Natasha Richardson, after a freak skiing accident in 2009, and was left with the task of raising their two young boys, Micheál and Daniel, alone.
Eldest son Micheál, who was 13 when he lost his mum, opened up about his struggle to grieve for her last year. He told Sunday Times Style magazine that he pursued drink and drugs as a means of getting on with things.
“Of course, when it happened it was devastating,” Micheál said.
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“But in my mind, subconsciously, I either pushed it out or stored it deep inside. And so, within the next week I was like, 'OK, get on with my life'.
“Everybody said, ‘This kid has lost his mum, that's where the problem comes from.’ And I was like, ‘No, it isn't, I just like to party.’”
But by 2014, with the help of his doting dad and younger brother Daniel, the teen realised something had to change. He turned his life around and now has a great relationship with his family.
Liam has spoken previously about his struggle to accept the death of his wife, who he says he still expects to just walk in the door.