Liam Neeson said in his first public speaking appearance since wife Natasha Richardson's tragic death that he is "getting on" with his life as he continues to grieve the loss of his long-time partner.
Neeson spoke at a New York City ceremony where he was given an honorary degree from alma mater Queens Belfast University, invoking the words of poet Paul Muldoon to tell the rapt audience that art can "heal the heart" and has helped to ease his own pain.
Art "builds from pain, from misery, from a deep-seated hurt, a monument to the human heart that shines like a golden dome among roofs rain-glazed and leaden," the actor said, according to Irish Central.
An emotional Neeson told the audience he was "terrified" of public speaking even though he's been acting for the better part of his life.
"Everybody assumes that actors are great public speakers," the visibly nervous actor said. "It’s terrifying. Forgive me for reading it."
Neeson said he learned one of his greatest lessons from his time at the university -- how to move on after a heartbreak.
"I think it is a message that a university always gives its students in the end: It’s time to move on, get on with your life," he said. "I got on with mine, and I'm still getting on."
Richardson's and Neeson's sons, Micheal, 13, and Daniel, 12, sat near the podium at the British Consulate in New York as their father spoke.
Richardson passed away March 18 due to a head injury she sustained in a freak skiing accident. She was 45.