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The death of a loved one is obviously difficult to handle. When you’re in mourning, it may be hard to concentrate at your job or even feel enthusiasm for the activities you once enjoyed.
Now imagine learning that your father has passed away on the eve of one of the biggest events of your career. For actress/singer Vanessa Hudgens, that’s just what happened.
On Saturday, January 30, Vanessa’s father Greg passed away from stage 4 cancer, a day before Vanessa was supposed to perform as Rizzo in Fox’s production of Grease: Live on television. For a moment, people wondered if Vanessa would go on stage under such grave circumstances. But according to a Variety interview with Grease: Live executive producer Marc Platt, she was insistent that the “show must go on” in honor of her father, who would have wanted her to perform.
Throwing yourself into your work or activity you are involved in is actually a way to work through the death of a loved one. Sometimes, it gives your mind a break from having to think about feeling sad and helps you concentrate on something else. (However, it’s important for people to also allow themselves time to grieve. Otherwise, this repressed emotion can ruminate and wreak havoc on your body emotionally and physically.)
Vanessa Hudgens’ turn as Rizzo paid off. She ended up receiving glowing reviews and, at the end of the production, the producers included a slate that read “In loving memory of Greg Hudgens.” Even though Vanessa’s father wasn’t around to see it, he definitely had something to do with his daughter’s achievement on stage.
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