Heather Morris is the latest Glee star to publicly mourn the loss of castmate Naya Rivera, who died saving her son in Lake Piru at age 33. Morris played Brittany Pierce, Santana’s best friend, girlfriend, and eventual wife in one of Glee’s romantic story lines that is most cherished by fans. On July 15, Morris shared a lengthy message to Instagram, accompanied by pictures of their sons playing together because “we mutually hated taking pictures…our relationship meant more than proof.” Morris also writes about the last time she had a chance to see Rivera in person — she had planned for a socially distanced wave through the window, but instead left oranges on her doorstep. She concludes the heartbreaking caption by writing, “So I’m showing the world a photo of our little goof balls for you, because I know that meant more than anything and they remind me of you and I. I speak to you everyday because I know you’re still with me and even though I’m feeling greedy that we don’t get more time together, I cherish every moment we had and hold it close to my heart.” The whole caption reads:
We started out as the closest friends and then like all new things, we went through a bit of a rocky phase. However, we stuck by each other’s side and created the most beautiful friendship built out of love and understanding. The last I had the chance to see you in person, I had left oranges outside our home for you to take. I wanted to say hi through the window but my phone didn’t ring when you called (which it never does, f*cking T-Mobile), so instead you and Josey left two succulents on our doorstep as a thank you. I planted those succulents and I look at them everyday and think of you. I still listen to your EP on repeat because from the moment I heard it, it struck me and I always wished the world knew more of your voice. You sent me over 5 dozen SnapChat videos when you and Josey woke up in the morning and I kick myself that I didn’t save one of them. You always shared recipes and I admired your love for food. We vowed to spend every Easter together, even though Covid stole this last one from us. You are and always will be the strongest and most resilient human being I know, and I vowed to carry that with me as I continue to live my life.
You constantly taught me lessons about grief, about beauty and poise, about being strong, resilient and about not giving a fuck (but still somehow respectful ). Yet, the utmost important lesson I learned most of all from you was being a consistent and loving friend. You were the first to check in, the first to ask questions, the first to listen..you cherished our friendship and I never took that for granted.
We never took photos together because we mutually hated taking pictures…our relationship meant more than proof. I have countless pictures of our babies playing, because we shared that kind of pride and joy. So I’m showing the world a photo of our little goof balls for you, because I know that meant more than anything and they remind me of you and I. I speak to you everyday because I know you’re still with me and even though I’m feeling greedy that we don’t get more time together, I cherish every moment we had and hold it close to my heart.
Morris posted her first reaction to Instagram the day before, writing that she is “taking a moment to honor my grief. Thank you for all your messages and prayers. Taking care of myself and my family comes first Xo Heather.”
After Rivera first went missing on July 8, Morris posted updates to Twitter about the search and rescue efforts, as well as an Instagram post with the hashtag #bringnayahome.
Morris and Rivera remained friends after Glee ended in 2015. On February 23, the two attended a monster-truck rally together, which Morris called “THE reunion of all reunions.”
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