Jenna Ushkowitz Pays Heartbreaking Tribute To Former ‘Glee’ Co-Star Naya Rivera

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Jenna Ushkowitz remembered her Glee co-star Naya Rivera in a touching Instagram post. The actress posted a statement about how loved her friend was but admitted that she did not think she could articulate exactly how she felt in words.

Rivera was declared missing last week when her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, was found alone on a boat on Lake Piru, California. The mother and son had rented the boat and reportedly ran into difficulty on the lake. After days of searching, authorities found a body in the lake on Monday, which was later confirmed to be the actress.

Ushkowitz starred on Glee as the reserved Tina Cohen-Chang, while Rivera played the sapphic sassy cheerleader, Santana Lopez. The actress shared a black and white image of the pair on Instagram in which the co-stars were laughing and hugging.

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There are no words and yet so many things I want to say, I don't believe I'll ever be able to articulate exactly what I feel but... Naya, you were a ⚡️ force and everyone who got to be around you knew it and felt the light and joy you exuded when you walked into a room. You shined on stage and screen and radiated with love behind closed doors. I was lucky enough to share so many laughs, martinis and secrets with you. I can not believe I took for granted that you'd always be here. Our friendship went in waves as life happens and we grow, so I will not look back and regret but know I love you and promise to help the legacy of your talent, humor, light and loyalty live on. You are so loved. You deserved the world and we will make sure Josey and your family feel that everyday. I miss you already.

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In her Instagram post, Ushkowitz admitted that the Glee co-stars’ friendship went in “waves as life happens and we grow,” but expressed her love for her friend nonetheless.

The day before Rivera’s body was found, the Glee actress posted a picture of the sunset.

“Please find her,” she wrote in the caption, followed by a broken heart emoji.

Two days ago she retweeted tweets from Glee co-stars Amber Riley and Kevin McHale asking fans to respect Rivera’s family and their privacy. One of these retweets included Riley’s request for fans to “show some respect,” saying no one owed anyone “performance grief.”

Fellow Glee co-star Kevin McHale also paid tribute to the actress, as reported by The Inquisitr. In his post, McHale spoke about being grateful the two stars were together when they found out about Cory Monteith’s death seven years ago. He also shared that they had spoken the week before her death about running away to Hawaii together.

Just hours before her body was found, Rivera’s family and friends from Glee gathered at Lake Piru to pay respects to the actress.

Fans offered Ushkowitz their condolences for her loss.

“I know Naya is watching down on all of us right now,” one fan commented.

“May she rest in peace & in power. such a beautiful soul taken way too soon. she’ll be missed by many but never forgotten,” wrote another.

“This is so beautiful, Jenna. My heart is shattered for you, and her friends and family. She will be so missed. Sending you the biggest hug of love & strength,” a third follower remarked.