'Vigil' For Natasha Richardson in New York

Natasha Richardson completed her flight from Canada to New York, and then apparently to Lenox Hill Hospital amid fresh reports the Tony-award-winning actress is brain dead and family are saying goodbye.

The New York Times confirmed Richardson is in New York, adding that her mother, the actress Vanessa Redgrave, was spotted walking into Lenox Hill, the NYU-affiliated hospital considered among the top neurology centers in the country.

People said friends and family were gathering for a "vigil in New York to be with Richardson." Gotham tabloids were more dire, with the Daily News joining in the chorus of earlier reports from the Post and Time Out New York that Richardson is brain dead.

Her family, which includes Richardson's husband, actor Liam Neeson, has gathered to "say farewell," the Daily News reported. The tabloid also offered an explanation for all the confusion over Richardson's status today:

Last night, there were tears as Richardson's family prepared to follow the heart-crushing choreography that goes with making the decision to let a loved one go.

"The rule of thumb is: You have two neurological exams 12 hours apart to show that there is no evidence of higher brain activity," said Dr. Philip Stieg, chairman of New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell's department of neurological surgery.

"If that is so, the patient is brain-dead; they are clinically dead."

Even at that point, the patient's heart can be kept beating to give the family "time to say goodbye," the doctor added.

One hopes the family has at least gained some clarity on Richardson's situation, or does so soon, even though the decisions following such knowledge may not be easy ones.