On the anniversary of Naya Rivera’s funeral, the late actress’s ex-husband Ryan Dorsey paid a moving tribute to her on Instagram.
The actor took to the platform to honor the mother of his child with a sweet collage of their son, five-year-old Josey Dorsey.
“Today… a year ago we laid you to rest. I still can’t believe it. The year has flown by, so fast that it doesn’t seem like it’s been a year at all,” he wrote alongside the black and white snaps.
He went on to express how proud he is of their son, who is now nearly six.
“Our boy has grown so much. 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.”
The actor also provided an update on how their son has been doing following his mother’s death.
“He’s doing ok,” he assured. “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…”
Dorsey admitted that July will always be a “strange and difficult month” in the years to come, however assured his late ex-wife that he will “share the memories with what is the brightest star of your legacy left on this earth, our beautiful son, Josey.”
He also reiterated that Josey is surrounded by loved ones, who will always take care of him.
“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.”
How did Naya Rivera drown?
Naya Rivera tragically lost her life while out on a pontoon boat on Lake Piru, California, with her son, Josey. The pair decided to jump into the water for a swim, however only Josey, aged four at the time, made it back onto the boat.
Rivera used the last of her strength to get her son out of the water, however, was unable to save herself. She was screaming for help right before she drowned.
According to an autopsy report from the Venture County Medical Examiner, obtained by E! News, “shortly after they jumped in the water, the decedent told Josey to get back on the boat. She helped him onto the bat and he then heard the decedent yell ‘help’ and she put her arm in the air. She then disappeared into the water.”
The report said that Rivera was initially offered a life jacket, however, she “politely declined”. Although she was given a jacket anyway, the vest was found still on the boat, wrapped around her son.
A six-day search took place following her disappearance, which led to the discovery of her body in the lake.
After her death, authorities banned swimming in Lake Piru.
Glee deaths: a look back at tragedies that rocked the cast
Rivera was a series regular in the wildly popular musical comedy-drama Glee, and the third cast member to die young. Her body was found on the anniversary of the death of her co-star, Cory Monteith, who died from substance abuse in 2013.
Monteith, who was 31 when he died, had struggled with alcohol and drug abuse that stemmed back to his teenage years. He took a break from Glee during its fourth season and went to rehab. While it was thought he was improving, the actor tragically lost his life to a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol.
Monteith starred in Glee as footballer Finn Hudson, who is pretty much forced to join the New Directions in the first episode. However, it doesn’t take long until he realizes his love for performance. By the end of Finn’s character arc, he was coaching the club himself.
Monteith’s death was proceeded by co-star Mark Salling. After numerous legal woes, which began with sexual assault charges in 2013, he was arrested for possession of child pornography in 2015. He pled guilty, and shortly after, took his own life.
After a family member reported Salling missing on Tuesday, January 30th, he was found hanged just weeks before he was due to be jailed.
Salling played Noah “Puck” Puckerman on Glee for the entire series. Puck was also a football player and best friend to Finn. After joining the New Directions, he went on to pursue a career in Hollywood after he graduated from high school.