Eva Mendes is processing the circle of life

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Eva Mendes…Reflecting on life and death.

Eva Mendes, the usually-private actress got personal in a candid interview for Latina magazine’s September issue, discussing the emotional upheaval she experienced while grieving her brother’s death just days before her second daughter was born. “Being totally honest, I don’t feel like I’ve really processed that yet,” Eva said of facing such major life events so closely together.

The star’s older brother, Carlos, lost his battle with cancer on April 17 at age 53, just 12 days before Eva and longtime partner Ryan Gosling welcomed their new baby girl, Amada Lee. For Eva, the combination of grief and joy was understandably devastating but also poetic. And luckily, she didn’t have to go through it alone.

“Losing my brother brought our family closer, and we were already close to begin with. So to just see everybody be there for one another and show up, I feel so lucky to have them,” the 42-year-old said explaining how her loved ones rallied together amidst their collective mourning to celebrate Amada’s arrival.

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“And then they were there for me when Amada was born. We had a funeral service for [Carlos] and that same week I had the baby. So it was really, really intense and obviously beyond heartbreaking, but also kind of beautiful,” she said.

Eva went on to reveal how she and Ryan decided to honour another beloved family member through both of their daughters. “My grandmother’s name is Amada, and Esmeralda Amada is the name of our oldest. We had a few names picked out for our new baby, and when she was born, we didn’t feel like those names were her. We came up with a few more, even that morning, and tried them out. We were like, ‘What about Viviana?’ But we just kept going back to Amada,” she explained.

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Eva said she told Ryan that reusing names was “common in Latin culture,” but that the tradition carried extra special meaning after such a profound loss.

Like many parents, Eva said her perspective has been forever changed since having kids, and she’s now instinctively thinking of how her decisions affect a future beyond her own.

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