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Heather Morris pens heartfelt tribute to late friend Naya Rivera

“The utmost important lesson I learned most of all from you was being a consistent and loving friend,” she said.
FOX's "Glee" - Season Five
Heather Morris (L) and Naya Rivera in the "New Directions" episode of "Glee" that aired March 25, 2014.FOX / FOX Image Collection via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Actor Heather Morris wrote a heartfelt message on Instagram Wednesday night remembering her late friend and former “Glee” co-star Naya Rivera.

Rivera, 33, tragically drowned in Lake Piru outside Los Angeles last week when she went swimming with her young son, Josey, 4.

Morris remembered her relationship with Rivera fondly, despite a “bit of a rocky phase,” and said they built a “beautiful friendship” out of “love and understanding.”

She added that Rivera and Josey had left succulents on her doorstep during the pandemic as a socially distanced thank you for oranges Morris had left outside her house.

“I planted those succulents and I look at them everyday and think of you,” she added. “You are and always will be the strongest and most resilient human being I know, and I vowed to carry that with me as I continue to live my life.”

Cast members from "Glee" and friends held hands as they shouted "Say her name - Naya" as they gathered on the Lake Piru boat launch Monday morning just as Ventura County Sheriff's Search and Rescue dive team located a body Monday morning.Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Morris was reportedly one of several “Glee” alums to visit Lake Piru as investigators announced a body had been located after Rivera had been missing for several days.

Wednesday, Morris explained the pictures she posted were of their kids together instead of them.

“I have countless pictures of our babies playing, because we shared that kind of pride and joy,” she said. “So I’m showing the world a photo of our little goof balls for you, because I know that meant more than anything and they remind me of you and I.”

Santana and Brittany eventually tied the knot on the show. FOX

For years, Morris and Rivera played glee club cheerleaders on the Fox musical comedy, and eventually, their characters, Brittany and Santana, tied the knot.

Rivera and Morris perform in the "Jagged Little Tapestry" episode of "Glee" that aired Jan. 16, 2015.FOX / FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Pop star Demi Lovato also played a love interest of Rivera’s character on the show and posted her condolences earlier this week.

“The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted queer girls (like me at the time) and open queer girls, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world,” Lovato said in a post. “My heart goes out to your loved ones at this time.”

Morris noted in her tribute that Rivera had taught her about so much, from grief to poise, to strength and “not giving a f--- (but somehow still respectful.”

“The utmost important lesson I learned most of all from you was being a consistent and loving friend,” she said. “You were the first to check in, the first to ask questions, the first to cherished our friendship and I never took that for granted.”

“I speak to you everyday because I know you’re still with me and even though I’m feeling greedy that we don’t get more time together, I cherish every moment we had and hold it close to my heart.”