Naya Rivera, 33, had gone boating with her son on Lake Piru, California. She drowned after trying to save her son from drowning.
Balancing a full-fledged career and motherhood is a challenge many moms struggle with but that doesn't mean that they regret either of those. For many women, being a mom is the most important part of their life and they dedicate themselves to their kids. Naya Rivera was one of those moms, who took real joy in spending time with her son, and unfortunately, she will not be able to see him grow up. She passed away from drowning in a lake in California in July.
Rivera had made a name for herself with her performance on the TV show Glee. While she was entirely focussed on her career back then, her world had shifted after the birth of her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, whom she shares with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey. Rivera and Dorsey were longtime friends and announced in 2014 that they got married. They got married in a secret ceremony in Cabo, Mexico, according to HollywoodLife. They divorced in 2018 after a public fight in 2017.
Rivera faced a domestic battery charge but Dorsey didn't want to go through with prosecuting her. They remained amicable afterward and her son became the center of her universe.
In November 2018, Rivera opened up about her son. "I enjoy every minute of it," Rivera told People magazine. "He is my best friend. I think that juggling work and being a mom, even if you are single or not, is always really challenging, but I cannot complain," she added.
Those who knew her were able to see how devoted she was to her son. "You could tell she loved being a mom," a source close to Rivera said. "She was always so sweet," they added. Another source said, "Back in the day, her life was all about her career. It was all about acting, singing, using her platform for equal rights, empowerment, and anti-bullying. But her priorities shifted. She was working less not because she didn't want to work, but because her son came first."
Her ex-husband opened up about losing her recently and said that they had spent the day before her disappearance together. "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. You were just here. We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before," Dorsey wrote on Instagram. "I'm thankful for our times and our journey that brought us together and gave us the sweetest and kindest smart little boy we could ever hope for... Life is all about good times and bad times but with Josey it makes the bad a little less so because a part of you will always be with us. He'll never forget where he came from," the actor added.
A source revealed that Dorsey can't imagine raising his son without Rivera. "Ryan has barely slept. It’s just a nightmare. Although he wasn’t with Naya, it’s Josey’s mom. Josey needs his mom," said a source to People magazine.
Rivera's sister Nickayla, 25, also expressed her grief about losing her sister. "Sister, there are no words to describe my love for you," the model said on Instagram. "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," she added. "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."
The Step Up High Water actress died on July 8 after she took Josey for a boat ride on Lake Piru in California. The mother and son had gone swimming in the lake and while she managed to save her son, she perished in doing so. Her son had been the last person to see her alive and in her final moments, he "saw her disappear under the surface of the water." Her body was found after a five-day search and it's believed that the incident was an accident.