The Glee alum’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, penned an emotional tribute to the late actress via Instagram on Saturday while giving an update on their five-year-old son, Josey Hollis, one year after Rivera’s funeral.
“Today…A year ago we laid you to rest. I still can’t believe it,” Dorsey, 38, began the caption. “The year has flown by, so fast that it doesn’t seem like it’s been a year at all.”
“Our boy has grown so much,” the post continued. “He’s such an explorer, so inquisitive. He’s sweet, so funny, and his laugh always lights up the room. He’s an intuitive soul to say the least. To know him is to love him, everyone that meets him is always smiling.
“He’s doing ok. He’s such a resilient strong kid. He misses you but knows he’ll see you again, and the invisible string is something that’s helped us out during this ever-evolving transition of your time with us on earth that was unfairly & for reasons we’ll never understand cut short…too soon…”
The father of one noted that the month of Rivera’s death has been a difficult one. The star went missing in July 2020 during a swim at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, where she was on a boat with her son Josey. She was pronounced dead five days later when authorities discovered her body. She was 33.
“July will probably always be a strange and difficult month in the years that are hopefully plentiful in the future…still hard to see photos, still haven’t been able to read or watch anything…as the years go by strength will be on my side as I will share the memories with what is the brightest star of your legacy left on this earth, our beautiful son, Josey,” Dorsey added.
The caption was shared alongside a sweet black-and-white photo of Josey giving a thumbs up, surrounded by photos of himself and his mother.
“The thumbs up…only seemed right,” Dorsey wrote. “I remember the first time he did it back to you. At jujitsu, you gave him a thumbs up and he returned the gesture…it was so sweet. Maybe it’s silly and doesn’t make sense to be doing this on IG and putting this out there, but so is this whole thing. So there’s that…
“Fly high, Rest In Peace, knowing he’s doing ok…he’s being raised right, and he’s got a lot of family and people around him that love him, and you.”
Dorsey concluded his post by offering support to families mourning the loss of a loved one. “For everyone out there that’s gone through similar events of loss…you know there’s not really any words that make it better…we know some days are better than others…but know our hearts and energy are with you. We keep going, because that’s all we can do while being as strong as we can be.”
Tributes poured from co-stars, family and friends for the late Glee star on the one-year anniversary of her death earlier this month. Her mother, Yolanda Previtire, told Good Morning America that she’s often still overwhelmed with sadness.
“Sometimes we’re afraid of the sorrow being so heavy that we’re afraid for our own self, ’cause this is hard. There are no words to describe what we’re going through,” she said. “All we know is we have each other.”
“I feel Naya’s energy constantly telling me, ‘Mum, be happy. Don’t cry. I’m OK. Go get Josey. Have fun.’ And I feel that it’s coming from her,” she added. “I literally wake up every morning, and it’s almost like a restart button, and I have to shake it off, one foot at a time. And here we are.”
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