AceShowbiz - The sudden 2017 death of her cousin made actress Rosario Dawson realise she needed to live a more grateful life.
Vaneza Vasquez was just 26 when she died from natural causes related to heart disease, and the tragedy, coupled with the death of her beloved grandmother seven years ago, prompted the "Sin City" star to make a few better life choices.
"Things have been rough, especially over the last couple of years," Dawson tells Entertainment Tonight. "There was definitely a period of time, especially in many aspects of life, where I recognised that I've lost my gratitude and that I maybe was focusing more on things that I was critical of than the things that I was grateful for."
"When my cousin died at 26, it really put a lot in perspective. My grandma died just before her 76th birthday, and I think that for the past seven years that put a real dark cloud over my head because that’s just so young. But when my cousin died at 26, it was like, 'If I make it to 76 that would be a real gift'."
The tragedy of her cousin's passing gave Rosario a chance to "reconnect with my family and my friends, and myself", adding, "There's really something to be said when you lose someone at such a young age."
"No matter what, I have already been on the planet over a dozen years than she ever will, and do I really want to sum that up with time that I have been down? I just want to make sure that I am taking advantage of pushing myself and not just sliding into the next day, slopping through it and be one of those people who just look forward to the holidays."
"My daughter is in high school. These couple of years I have with her, even if she's going to be moody or rolling her eyes like a teenager, these are precious moments and I want to be able to maximise them as much as possible..."
She continues, "We have so much negativity and ugliness out there and we get so critical and so angry, depressed, and when you're in that space, you build from that space. I just want to build from the love that I have. I'm in an amazing place with my daughter, and with my friends and my family. It's rough out there. I just want to enjoy myself as much as I can along the way... Be present as much as possible."