Heather Morris has described Naya Rivera as "the strongest and most resilient human being I know" in a touching tribute to her close friend and Glee co-star.
The 33-year-old's body was recovered from Lake Piru near Los Angeles on Monday, five days after she went missing while swimming with her four-year-old son Josey.
Morris and Rivera became close playing Brittany and Santana on Glee in an acclaimed story arc that saw the two best friends fall in love with each other and ultimately get married.
Having taken a couple of days off social media following the confirmation that Rivera had drowned, Morris paid tribute on Instagram by sharing pictures of their children playing together alongside a lengthy letter addressed to her.
Read her message in full below:
"We started out as the closest friends and then like all new things, we went through a bit of a rocky phase. However, we stuck by each other's side and created the most beautiful friendship built out of love and understanding. The last I had the chance to see you in person, I had left oranges outside our home for you to take. I wanted to say hi through the window but my phone didn't ring when you called (which it never does, f*cking T-Mobile), so instead you and Josey left two succulents on our doorstep as a thank you. I planted those succulents and I look at them everyday and think of you.
"I still listen to your EP on repeat because from the moment I heard it, it struck me and I always wished the world knew more of your voice. You sent me over 5 dozen SnapChat videos when you and Josey woke up in the morning and I kick myself that I didn't save one of them. You always shared recipes and I admired your love for food. We vowed to spend every Easter together, even though Covid stole this last one from us.
"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.
"You constantly taught me lessons about grief, about beauty and poise, about being strong, resilient and about not giving a fuck (but still somehow respectful ). Yet, the utmost important lesson I learned most of all from you was being a consistent and loving friend. You were the first to check in, the first to ask questions, the first to listen..you cherished our friendship and I never took that for granted.
"We never took photos together because we mutually hated taking pictures...our relationship meant more than proof. I have countless pictures of our babies playing, because we shared that kind of pride and joy. 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.
"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."