“Yesterday, at 3:49 p.m., in the comfort of the oasis (sweet home), she created for herself, surrounded by our loved ones —in the midst of this pandemic, my Natalia took her last breath and I felt her last heartbeat for the last time,” Stephens wrote on Instagram.
Harris was a model who appeared on the cover of Vogue Knitting, Project Runway and participated in New York Fashion Week among countless other campaigns.
The model also co-authored a book with her mother which recounts how the two grappled with her fight against cancer, entitled Unbroken: A Mother-Daughter Journey of Resilience, Faith, and Courage.
“All these signs and the message, ‘See you soon,’ it brings me peace. It makes me realize we think we are here for so long and in reality it is just a breath,” Stephens told Today. “She gives me the strength. I know she is with me through the many signs.”
Stephens shared that Delta Airlines sent her a sweet note and a framed photo of the advertisements of Harris, who she referred to as “Nati,” after she told them her story of love and loss.
“I used to tell her, ‘Wow, when I grow up I want to be like you. She was so composed, so gentle,” Stephens said. “One of the things I recall vividly is a friend of the family said this world needs more Natalias. She was so compassionate.”
“I thought I had stopped being a mom (when I lost my only child), but I realized I am always going to be a mom, I am just mothering in another realm,” she added.
As a “Cancer Conqueror,” and self-proclaimed “cancer surThriver,” Harris was passionate about sharing uplifting messages of hope to those battling any form of the disease.
“Our Natalia lived with purpose and intention,” a spokesperson for Stephens told Today. “In her own gentle way, Natalia reminds me of Frank Sinatra’s song ‘I did it my way.’ She lived fully and in her short life shifted and touched so many others. She leaves a strong legacy behind.”
Stephens has dedicated her life to preserving her daughter’s legacy. She expressed gratitude for seeing her daughter, who she says helps guard her heart and mind.
“The veil between this realm and the next is so thin my gentle souls,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “Thank you Jesus for your many signs and wonders. I’m grateful.”