Naya Rivera excelled at the many roles she held in life — actress, singer, friend — but according to her "Glee" co-star Chris Colfer, the 33-year-old was most successful in her role as a mother.
"For as long as I’ve known Naya, the thing she wanted most in life was to be a mother. She spent hours telling us what she was going to name her kids, how she was going to dress them and all the free babysitting she’d bamboozle out of us," Colfer recalled.
Rivera's long-awaited dream of becoming a mother came true when she welcomed her first child at the age of 28.
"When her son Josey was born in 2015, it was like a missing piece of Naya had finally arrived. Their connection was magnetic, their affection was radiant and I’ve never seen a person look happier than when Naya gushed over her little boy," he wrote.
Rivera's love for her son was evident and Colfer said motherhood completely transformed the actress.
"Being a mom was perhaps Naya’s greatest talent of all, and as her final moments proved, Naya was Chris," he wrote.
In his essay, Colfer also recalled his dear friend's soulful singing voice and her expressive acting skills, and said one of the things he misses most about the actress is her sense of humor.
"Naya could defuse a bomb with a witty remark. Her comebacks and quips were legendary, and I used to follow her around set, jotting down everything she said into my phone," he wrote.
Colfer called the process of losing Rivera "a nightmare" and said he will miss her honesty and the close bond they formed during the six seasons of filming "Glee" together.
"As a friend, you could talk to her about anything. She was the cool older sister you went to for advice, to blow off steam, or to get the hottest take on the latest gossip. Just being in Naya’s presence made you feel protected and regardless of the situation, you knew she’d have your back," he wrote.
Many "Glee" cast members have taken to social media over the past week to pay tribute to Rivera, and Colfer said she will leave behind a huge void.
"To have a friend like her, even briefly, is to be blessed beyond belief. She is a shining example of the impact a person can have when one lives fearlessly. Her loss is a tragic reminder to celebrate every moment we possibly can with the people we love because the only thing we know for certain about life is how fragile it can be," he wrote.