Rosario Dawson is maintaining a powerful perspective on life in the aftermath of her 26-year-old cousin’s tragic death.
The actress choked back tears as she spoke about the loss of Vaneza Ines Vazquez for the first time Wednesday, telling an audience at her interview for the AOL BUILD series that she never wants to “take anything for granted.”
“My cousin just died, Vaneza, and I’m coming up on the six-year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing,” Dawson said at the seminar in New York. “And from 75 to 26, you just don’t know when your time is. And I just don’t want to be in any kind of position where I’m looking back going, ‘I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve, didn’t, damn!'”
The 38-year-old star — who was in town to accept an award for her work with The Lower Eastside Girls Club of New York — said she’s been going through “a really emotional and stressful time” since her cousin’s death, and that she’s connecting in a different way with her family now.
“Tomorrow is not guaranteed, and you want to make sure the people that you love know that, and that you’re doing things with your time that you’re proud of, because it goes by so fast,” Dawson said.
Vasquez was in Dawson’s home in Venice, Calif. earlier this month when the actress came downstairs and discovered she was unresponsive, TMZ reported.
Paramedics were unable to save Vasquez, who worked for Dawson and suffered from hypertension. She experienced migraines ahead of her death, according to the gossip website.
An early autopsy reportedly suggested Vasquez died from natural causes, though an official cause has not been released to the public.