The description of death as a thief in the night can be quite appropriate, in instances when a life comes to an end whether in an instant, or when a person is still well into his prime. A year ago, actress Naya Rivera of “Glee” fame died, having drowned while on a boat outing with her young son, on a reservoir lake that she had frequent numerous times in the past. The tragedy affected her family and “Glee” costars, who felt that Rivera still had a big future ahead of her that was cut short. A year to the day, their sentiments remain the same.

This past Thursday, family and friends celebrated the first death anniversary of Naya Rivera, as told by E! Online. Her death at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California which dramatically left behind her son Josie on their rental boat until found by rescuers, cast shadows on those who knew her well. Nobody else perhaps comes closer than the late actress’ mother and sister, who were on Thursday’s “Good Morning America” on ABC, sharing their memories of Naya, particularly their last contact on July 8, 2020. Rivera’s mother hoped that her daughter’s legacy in the future “might teach people to love.”

Her pronouncement is rather meaningful, considering Naya shot to fame by portraying Santana Lopez on Fox’s musical dramedy “Glee.” Santana’s storyline of being promiscuous including physical intimacy with fellow cheerleader Brittany (Heather Morris), only to reveal her pursuit of boys to be a mask for her genuinely romantic feelings for Brittany, has been hailed as one of the best ongoing story arcs in the series. It is no surprise then that Morris, who played the (eventual) onscreen girlfriend of Naya’s character, led “Glee” costars in remembering her on social media.

“You are the brightest star in my eyes Naya Rivera,” writes Heather Morris on Instagram. “Your legacy lives on in kindness and being ‘that sassy queen’ in my eyes.” Also saying their online pieces were Kevin “Artie” McHale and Jenna “Tina” Ushkowitz, while Lea “Rachel” Michele, Chris “Kurt” Colfer and many more “Glee” stars blitzed IG with Naya photos aplenty.

Rivera disappeared in Lake Piru on July 8 last year, with her son Josey remembering his mother helping him onto their rental boat after swimming, only for her to fail to surface. Her remains were found only five days later.

Image courtesy of US Weekly