Naya Rivera’s family are paying tribute to the late “Glee” star one year after her tragic death.
Naya’s mother Yolanda Previtire and her sister Nickayla Rivera chatted with ABC News’ Juju Chang for “Good Morning America” and discussed what keeps them going every day following the horrific accident.
Naya went missing on July 8 at California’s Lake Piru after taking her son Josey Hollis Dorsey, who was four at the time, fishing.
The star was thought to have accidentally drowned but managed to save her son, who was found alone in the boat wearing a life jacket.
Previtire shared, “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. All we know is we have each other.”
Nickayla Rivera, who now lives with Josey and Naya’s ex-husband Ryan Dorsey at the request of the little one, told “GMA” that they’re taking “one day at a time.”
“And taking that one day at a time and living it to the fullest, loving each other to the fullest, and not regretting anything,” Nickayla said. “Because I know if we could go back, we’d hug a little bit harder.”
Previtire shared, “I feel Naya’s energy constantly telling me, ‘Mom, be happy. Don’t cry. I’m OK. Go get Josey. Have fun.’ And I feel that it’s coming from her.
“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. And here we are.”
Previtire recalled having her final FaceTime conversation with her daughter and her grandson on the lake.
“I missed two of her FaceTime calls, and I called her back. And we had a beautiful conversation. The sun was kissing her face and she was just beautiful,” she said, getting emotional. “She had a white, beautiful swimming suit on and she was glowing.”
Previtire said she was taking screenshots of Josey fishing from the boat during the call, which ultimately helped search teams locate Naya’s body.
“Thank God I took the pictures, because they were able to look at the topography of the land to locate where they were.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 8, 2021
Previtire said how she told her daughter, “The water’s gettin’ choppy” and told them to go to a cove where the water should be “a little bit calmer” there. She then told Naya to call her when they got off the water.
Previtire remembered the horrific moment she was told Josey was safe but her daughter was missing: “It was almost like a force. I don’t know what it was, but I literally was just pushed backwards. I just ran backwards, if you can imagine, just screaming and I ended up in the bathroom. I slammed the door, I was on the floor and I had to gather myself.”
Naya’s little brother Mychal, who couldn’t be present for the interview, told “GMA” in a statement: “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.”