Nickayla Rivera broke her silence on her sister, Naya Rivera’s, death on Saturday, almost two week after Naya was found dead. The late Glee star’s younger sibling took to Instagram to express her heartbreak, writing that her “world is turned upside down.”
“There are no words to describe my love for you. Side by side or miles apart, our connection is infinite. Our bond is unbreakable,” the 25-year-old model wrote alongside a black-and-white photo of the two. “We were complete opposites, yet simultaneously the same. The yin to my yang. I never knew that by losing you, I would find so much of you in myself.”
Nickayla added that she’s never known a life without her sister and “still can’t imagine it.” While she wrote that her “world is turned upside down,” she continued by noting that “through it all, everything we were, we are still. I’ll always look at you with the same eyes as I did when I was young.”
“My shmaya, I’ll love you for eternity & miss you every second of my life,” she concluded.
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Sister, There are no words to describe my love for you. Side by side or miles apart, our connection is infinite. Our bond is unbreakable. We were complete opposites, yet simultaneously the same. The yin to my yang. I never knew that by losing you, I would find so much of you in myself. I’ve never known a life without you in it & still can’t imagine it. My world is turned upside down. But through it all, everything we were, we are still. I’ll always look at you with the same eyes as I did when I was young. My shmaya, I’ll love you for eternity & miss you every second of my life. ?
Nickayla’s post came after hours Naya’s ex-husband and father of her child, Ryan Dorsey, also paid tribute to the last actress for the first time since her death was confirmed.
“This is so unfair…there’s not enough words to express the hole left in everyone’s hearts. I can’t believe this is life now. I don’t know if I’ll ever believe it,” he wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. You were just here… We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn’t fair. I don’t know what to say.”
Rivera was confirmed dead on July 13, days after she was reported missing following a boat ride on Lake Piru in California with her young son, Josey. At the time, Rivera’s family members released a statement thanking everyone for their support during this difficult time and showing gratitude to the first responders who helped to find the actress.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week. While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister,” the family’s statement, provided by Rivera’s rep on their behalf, read. “Thank you to the men and women of the Ventura, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Departments for your commitment and unwavering effort to find Naya. We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her friends, colleagues, and fans for your continuous support.”
“Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time,” the statement concluded.
ET’s Kevin Frazier spoke with Captain Jeremy Paris, who was in charge of the search for Rivera following her disappearance. Paris explained that Rivera helped her son back up on the boat before she went missing.
“We know that she was out with her 4-year-old boy and she was swimming,” Paris told ET. “We know he was wearing a life vest and she wasn’t. We know that she was able to, and she did, assist him onto the boat. And then for some unknown reason — and I don’t think we will ever know — she was not able to get on the boat herself.”
For more on Rivera and her life and career, watch below.
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