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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Navigating Grief is a series focused on my personal journey with grief and healing after loss; encompassing the days I can face the world, to those where I’m drenched in tears. I’m taking it one step at a time, and want to share my experiences with you, dear reader. More so, to honor the memories of my passed loved ones.

My keepsake is a bouquet of roses from my late uncle; I have kept them with me for years. They are even more beautiful to me now than they were then. He gifted me these roses on the eve of an academic feat, where he was in attendance to support me. I said “thank you” for my flowers and had every intention to place them in a pretty vase. Afterward, I would fill it with water and hope that the flowers would last more than a week. It was then that my mother suggested I dry the roses to preserve them; to have a keepsake.

While I was initially hesitant and saddened to see them hung upside down in a dark space (to dry), I decided to try it out. Six years later, the now dried flowers are in the same pretty vase, aged and reminiscent of my uncle’s love for me. They kept me company in my childhood bedroom and now sit tenderly on the desk in my college dorm. Whenever I feel beaten down by grief, or need some joy, I look at my flowers and smile. Navigating grief isn’t easy, but my keepsake brightens the darkest days.

Justice Morris (she/her) is a second-year history and Mexican American Latino Studies double major at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also pursuing a Core Texts and Ideas certificate. Justice is a passionate writer; she enjoys sharing her thoughts on the arts, life as a college student, and her cultural experiences as a Chicana woman. You can find more of her work in The Liberator, the official publication of the College of Liberal Arts.