Her long-distance relationship ended, but she didn't want to forget it. So she drew it.

Sometimes, nothing is more terrifying than seeing a "hey" followed by a period.

Call me paranoid, but it tends to be one of the first things someone says to you when you're about to receive some unpleasant news. For someone in a long distance relationship, getting a text like that could be the beginning of the end.

When comic artist SisiwAko and her boyfriend broke up, she wanted to deal with the heartache in the only way she knew.


"I was happy the whole time I was with that person, so I wanted to draw them so I wouldn't forget."

In the words of Carrie Fisher, shared recently by Meryl Streep: "Take your broken heart, make it into art." That's exactly what SisiwAko is doing in this powerful comic.

Comic by SisiwAko, where it originally appeared. Used here with permission.

Sharing our experiences is a valuable way to encourage empathy, even across the longest of distances.

Art has always been a conduit for expression and therapy. From the masters of painting, to kids with their journals, to professional art therapy, web comics, and even socially conscious media companies. We should all have a medium to express our feelings and to accept the experiences of those around us.

The reaction to the piece has been overwhelmingly positive, "People who have had similar experiences have messaged me ... from around the globe and it's been wonderful to hear the words of support and encouragement," she says.

Because of the demand, SisiwAko has started creating a follow-up comic while continuing her studies in game art. Her global fanbase is excited for the next chapter and we're all rooting for her — no matter how far away we may be from her.

​SisiwAko is a comic artist living in the Philippines. You can find her stories and illustrations here.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.