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Naya Rivera & Matthew Morrison Shared a ‘Common Passion’ as Parents, Glee Star Says

So many of us are mourning the loss of actor Naya Rivera, who was confirmed drowned this week after the Ventura County Sherriff’s office recovered her body from Lake Piru on July 13. But her fans who are also parents are feeling a particular kind of grief — especially since we now know that Rivera likely spent her final breaths saving the life of her 4-year-old son Josey.

“We know from speaking with her son that he and Maya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey,” Sherriff Bill Ayub said in a press conference shared by Global News. “It was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the water.”

It’s a tragic end that has so many parents devastated but also nodding in agreement: We, too, know we would muster up our last moments of strength in life to shepherd our kids to safety. One famous parent who’s speaking out about Rivera’s powerful embrace of motherhood — and her true passion for raising her son — is her Glee co-star Matthew Morrison.

“Naya would shine brightest when surrounded by her wonderful family. A common passion we both shared recently was that of our roles as parents,” Morrison wrote on Instagram Tuesday, alongside a beautiful photo of Rivera. “Naya was fervent about motherhood and had a steadfast love for Josey. It is that powerful love that ensures us that her story does not end here. I’m confident that her positive influence will be continuously felt, and that her beautiful spirit will carry on in the lives of so many. I’m devastated by this immense loss. This week has been long and trying with much praying and hope. I find some solace in closure, but the pain I feel for her and her family cannot be measured. Rest in peace, keep shining down on us with your bright light.”

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Naya was a such a powerful force, in both her personal life and in her work. While so many of us were trying to find our voice, Naya’s was clear and resolute.  When she spoke, you would embrace every last word. And when she sang, she would let you into her soul. Glee acted as only a snippet of her life that we all, thankfully, had the honor of witnessing.  But Naya would shine brightest when surrounded by her wonderful family.  A common passion we both shared recently was that of our roles as parents. Naya was fervent about motherhood and had a steadfast love for Josey.  It is that powerful love that ensures us that her story does not end here. I’m confident that her positive influence will be continuously felt, and that her beautiful spirit will carry on in the lives of so many. I’m devastated by this immense loss.  This week has been long and trying with much praying and hope. I find some solace in closure, but the pain I feel for her and her family cannot be measured.  Rest in peace, keep shining down on us with your bright light.

A post shared by Matthew Morrison (@matthewmorrison) on

Morrison is spot-on in calling Rivera “fervent” and “steadfast” in her love for and devotion to Josey. Throughout her four-plus years as a parent, Rivera never held back about how hard it was or how wonderful it was. She was open about everything from the pains of breastfeeding (“something no one else shares with your baby”) to the bond that makes it all worthwhile (“It’s a love never found anywhere or with anyone else”).

In her Instagram post celebrating Josey’s fourth birthday in September, Rivera wrote, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” We hate to argue with her beautiful words, but we know that even though she’s no longer living, Josey remains her baby — and always will be. Like Morrison wrote, “It is that powerful love” Rivera had for Josey that ensures “that her story does not end here.”

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