Almost two weeks after authorities confirmed that “Glee” star Naya Rivera died in a drowning accident, her younger sister, Nickayla Rivera, is speaking out about the loss.
The 25-year-old model posted a black-and-white throwback photo on Instagram, where she’s next to her sister and giving her a kiss on the cheek. It’s Nickayla Rivera’s first public social media post since her sister first went missing on July 8.
“Sister, There are no words to describe my love for you,” she wrote. “Side by side or miles apart, our connection is infinite. Our bond is unbreakable. We were complete opposites, yet simultaneously the same. The yin to my yang. I never knew that by losing you, I would find so much of you in myself.”
“I’ve never known a life without you in it & still can’t imagine it,” she continued. “My world is turned upside down. But through it all, everything we were, we are still. I’ll always look at you with the same eyes as I did when I was young. My shmaya, I’ll love you for eternity & miss you every second of my life.”
On July 8, Naya Rivera’s 4-year-old son, Josey, was found alone on a pontoon boat he and his mom had rented at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California. Josey told authorities that they’d gone swimming together, but his mom did not return to the boat.
Tributes to the mother of one have poured in from fans, friends and former co-stars over the past weeks.
On Saturday, Rivera’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, broke his silence on his ex-wife’s death, taking to Instagram to share an emotional message.
“This is so unfair… there’s not enough words to express the hole left in everyone’s hearts,” he captioned a photo of Naya Rivera holding their son. “I can’t believe this is life now. I don’t know if I’ll ever believe it. You were just here… We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn’t fair.”
In his note, Dorsey recalled some fond memories of the two of them together and said he was “thankful for our times and our journey that brought us together and gave us the sweetest and kindest smart little boy we could ever hope for.”
“I remember sometimes you used to get annoyed at me: ‘Ryan can you stop snap chatting!’ Haha,” he continued. “I’m glad I didn’t listen to you because I have hundreds and probably thousands of snaps and videos that Josey will have forever and know his momma loved him more than life, and how much fun we had together as he was growing up.”
Dorsey finished on a poignant note, writing, “Life is all about good times and bad times but with Josey it makes the bad a little less so because a part of you will always be with us. He’ll never forget where he came from. We miss you. We will always love you. Love you Meep.”
Various members of the “Glee” cast also shared their condolences earlier this month. And Naya Rivera’s family put out a statement shortly after her body was found.
“While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit,” the statement, obtained by TODAY, read. “Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister. Heaven gained our sassy angel.”