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I was a kid who lost my father to cancer. Growing up, it felt like I consumed a never-ending stream of teen movies and books exploring romance and death. In these stories, I noticed a sort of glamorization of tragedy. There was a sexiness to grief. These stories, propagated by beautiful actors made me wonder, why is my life not like what I saw on screen? It became very important to me to rebel against this: I wanted to see loss from an ugly perspective. How does a teenager truly experience grief?

Emma Halleen

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