Heather Morris is honouring her late Glee co-star and friend Naya Rivera with a song and dance.
A week after Rivera’s drowning death was confirmed by authorities, Morris, who first bonded with Rivera the set of the Fox musical comedy series in 2009 and remained her close friend, shared a moving tribute on Instagram. In it, Morris danced and sang along to Rivera’s “Radio Silence.”
Morris said she was sharing the “very personal” tribute, writing, “Grieving looks very differently on everyone... but one things for certain: I’ve felt it’s hard to feel joy or keep busy when mourning without thinking that you’re not honoring that person or you’re forgetting about them.”
It was Morris’ husband, Taylor Hubbell, who reminded her “that honoring someone can mean you’re enjoying your life FOR them.”
Morris said that she hit 1 million Instagram followers amid Rivera’s disappearance in a swimming accident on July 8 and the resulting search, leading to Rivera’s drowning being confirmed on July 13. The milestone initially felt bad to her, she said, but she has since changed how she looks at it.
”I made it to 1M followers in these last few weeks and at first I was resentful because I gained them from a tragedy, but after giving it a breath ... I realized you all have just surrounded me with love and support,” Morris wrote. “That I just see you angels wrapping your wings around me.”
She ended by saying she decided to instead celebrate the social media milestone by sharing “a tribute to @nayarivera with her music and her voice that will forever be my favorite.”
Morris was among Rivera’s former co-stars and friends who gathered at the edge of Lake Piru in Ventura County, Calif., as the search for the actress’s body was underway. Morris — who played Rivera's love interest on Glee — said she wanted to help in the recovery efforts to find her missing pal.
After Rivera’s death was confirmed, Morris shared a sweet photo tribute saying she felt Rivera was “still here with me.”
She also shared a little insight into their friendship, saying they had a playdate scheduled for their children last week. (Rivera left behind 4-year-old son Josey; Morris is a mom of two, including to son Owen, who’s the same age.)
Morris also wrote about how Rivera would always tell her she looked “so skinny” when she saw her, noting how Rivera said she liked to make others feel good about themselves. Morris also talked about how Rivera’s drink of choice was a martini and that she was a closet smoker, but nobody knew because Rivera was a “mastermind at hiding it.”