HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 09: Actress Naya Rivera attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' And Legendary Pictures' '42' at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 9, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

Naya Rivera Family and Fans Reflect on 1-Year Anniversary of Her Passing

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The 1-year anniversary of the tragic passing of Naya Rivera is upon us, and people are coming together to talk about this talented actress, loving mother, and iconic symbol in the form of Glee‘s Santana Lopez. Most notably, Naya’s family has come forward to talk about their loss on Good Morning America. Yolanda Previtire, Naya’s mom, told GMA about the sorrow they’ve experienced since Naya’s passing.

“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,” Previtire said. “All we know is we have each other.” Nickayla Rivera, Naya’s sister, also said, “And taking that one day at a time and living it to the fullest, loving each other to the fullest, and not regretting anything.”

As for what keeps Naya’s mom going, what keeps her getting out of bed every single day, it’s this feeling inside of her from Naya that is telling her, “Mom, be happy. Don’t cry. I’m OK. Go get Josey. Have fun.” And every day she follows that voice and makes it through the hell of losing her child. “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.”

Mychal Rivera, Naya’s brother, couldn’t attend the GMA interview but released a statement to them saying, “One year without you, one year closer to when we will meet you again. Your endless energy lives on. May you continue to rest so graciously, Naya.” This statement is further reflected in the tweets and posts from fans of Naya who also miss her and still feel the pain of her loss.

Just because they never met her, doesn’t mean that they didn’t connect with her and the roles she played during her short career. Most notable of all is her time as Santana Lopez on Glee. The fact that she was a Latina on TV was remarkable because of the lack of representation when it comes to this community. Top that off with the fact that her character was queer, and you had the makings of an iconic character that fans connected with as they were coming to terms with their own sexuality.

But don’t take my word for it alone. Here are some of the posts on Twitter, celebrating Naya Rivera’s life and career while mourning her loss:

(image: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty)

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Lyra Hale
Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.