Those who knew Naya Rivera best have been paying tribute to her on social media in the days following her untimely passing. Big Sean, who was previously engaged to the Glee star, penned a lengthy tribute to his former partner on Instagram. In his message, which came alongside a couple of photos of Rivera, Big Sean thanked the late actor for "blessing us all with your talent and presence."
The rapper began his caption by writing, "Rest In Peace Naya, God Bless your Soul!" He went on to say that Rivera was a "hero" not only because she saved her son, whom she visited Lake Piru with, but also because of the enormous influence that she had on so many people. Big Sean specifically wrote that she was a hero "because of the barriers you knocked down for so many people to make them feel confident in themselves and to stand tall and be proud when they couldn't achieve that on their own." Of course, he also touched upon their relationship, which lasted from 2013 until 2014, which is when they called off their engagement.
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"I appreciate and cherish everything that ever happened between us for making me wiser and a better person," Big Sean continued. "I'm still grieving and in shock, I can't believe this is real. I'm praying for you and your family and I know your watching over them and protecting them." The rapper posted his message on Friday, days after authorities discovered Rivera's body in Lake Piru. The Glee star had been missing since July 8, which is the day when she and her four-year-old son Josey went to visit the lake. Her son was later discovered alone on the boat that they had rented together. Josey told officials that he and his mother had been swimming in the lake but that she did not get back onto the boat. The four-year-old has since been safely reunited with his father, Rivera's ex-husband Ryan Dorsey.
Following an autopsy, authorities determined that Rivera's cause of death was an accidental drowning. During a press conference held on Monday, Sheriff Bill Ayub shared details about this tragic incident. He said that based on information that they obtained from her son, authorities believe that Rivera might have "mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat, but not enough to save herself."