Two years ago, Vanessa Hudgens opened up about her father鈥檚 battle with stage-four cancer. 鈥淟et me tell you, I hate cancer,鈥 she said in a speech at the 2015 Industry Dance Awards. 鈥淚 hate cancer with every cell of my being.鈥

That same year, she posted a photo of her dad on Instagram and asked fans to 鈥減ray for his healing.鈥 Sadly, Gary Hudgens lost his battle to cancer in January of this past year. Now Vanessa is opening up about her heartbreak in the latest issue of Women鈥檚 Health.

She recalls her mother鈥檚 strength as her father鈥檚 health was failing. 鈥淪he took care of him and made him comfortable so he could pass away at home,鈥 says Vanessa. 鈥淪he is such a warrior.鈥

On the day Gary passed away, Vanessa was set to star in Grease Live! When she got the news, she was poised to perform in front of millions of TV viewers and decided to call on her father for strength. 鈥淢y dad would not have wanted me to not do the show,鈥 Vanessa tells the magazine. 鈥淚鈥檓 going to go out there, have a great time, do my best, and hope the world enjoys it, but most importantly, enjoy it myself.鈥

While Vanessa continues to keep her father鈥檚 memory alive, she is more grateful than ever to spend time with her mom, Gina.

鈥淪he鈥檚 sunshine. She鈥檚 so sweet,鈥 she says. 鈥淚t鈥檚 where I got all my sweetness.鈥

Losing a parent is the hardest thing in the world but as Vanessa reminds us, they never leave your heart.

(h/t Just Jared; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)