Like many of us, Heather Morris is mourning the tragic loss of her former Glee castmate and on-screen wife Naya Rivera.
The dancer and actress, who played out bisexual character Brittany Pierce in FOX's cult-favorite musical TV series, paid tribute to her late co-star in a touching and emotional letter she posted to Instagram on Wednesday. In her message to Rivera (who played the groundbreaking lesbian character Santana Lopez on Glee), Morris recalls how although they had some ups and downs, their relationship was special to both of them and "built out of love and understanding."
"We started out as the closest friends and then like all new things, we went through a bit of a rocky phase," Morris wrote in a caption of pictures of their sons playing and enjoying time together. "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 every day 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."
After an exhaustive, five-day search, Rivera's body was finally recovered earlier this week on Monday after she went missing during a boating trip with her 4-year-old son Josey in Southern California's Lake Piru. Morris's tribute is the lastest in a public outpouring of condolences from many of her friends and colleagues, including other Glee castmates like Chris Colfer, Jane Lynch, Kevin McHale, Darren Criss, Dianna Agron, and Demi Lovato. Rivera was 33-years-old at the time of her passing.
"You constantly taught me lessons about grief, about beauty and poise, about being strong, resilient and about not giving a f--K (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," Morris said. "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 every day 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."