Earlier this month, the actress found Vaneza Ines Vasquez unresponsive inside her Los Angeles home. Vasquez was later transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly after. Early autopsy results suggested Dawson’s cousin died due to natural causes. Vasquez, who was working for Dawson at the time of her death, was also reportedly experiencing migraines and hypertension.
“My cousin just died, Vaneza [Ines Vazquez], and I’m coming up on the 6-year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing,” Rosario told Build Series on Wednesday in a conversation about her work with The Lower Eastside Girls Club of New York. “And from 75 to 26, you just don’t know when your time is. I just don’t want to be in any kind of position where I’m looking back going, ‘Ah, I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve, didn’t, damn!’”
In the week’s following her cousin’s death, Dawson has pledged not to take things for granted, reevaluating her priorities and finding comfort in her family.
“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. It gets really easy to get caught up in the minutiae,” she said.
“I’ve been dealing with a lot of loss lately and reconnecting with my family and my friends in a different way,” she continued. “I’m realizing how much I’ve pulled myself back, and I’ve been just really humbled by this opportunity tonight.”
Later in the evening, Dawson was honored for her work at The Lower Eastside Girls Club, which provides a safe and enriching space for girls from low-income families. The actress is a founding board member and grew up in the same neighborhood the Girls Club operates in.
Watch Dawson’s full interview below.