Heather Morris Mourns Naya Rivera’s Death With Moving Dance Tribute (Video)

Heather Morris continues to grieve the loss of her dear friend Naya Rivera nearly two weeks after the star’s tragic accidental drowning death.

The pair developed such a strong friendship during and after their time together on FOX‘s Glee, and in the wake of Rivera’s passing, the 33-year-old actress revealed one of the ways she has been coping with the untimely tragedy is through dance.

Morris, who used to be one of Beyoncé‘s backup dancers during the Single Ladies era, performed a moving contemporary tribute to Naya‘s song, Radio Silence, and shared the video on Instagram to celebrate reaching one million followers. She explained the very “personal” meaning behind grieving this way in her caption, which began:

“I want to share something very personal with you all… Grieving looks very differently on everyone…but one things for certain: I’ve felt it’s hard to feel joy or keep busy when mourning without thinking that you’re not honoring that person or you’re forgetting about them. But @hubbell_woodshop reminded me that honoring someone can mean you’re enjoying your life FOR them…”

The performer said she was initially resentful for the influx in attention recently, but she has since embraced it as a reminder of how others are struggling with the same difficult emotions that she is right now:

“I made it to 1M followers in these last few weeks and at first I was resentful because I gained them from a tragedy, but after giving it a breath.. I realized you all have just surrounded me with love and support. That I just see you angels wrapping your wings around me 🙏🏻 So I’m celebrating 1Million today in a tribute to @nayarivera with her music and her voice that will forever be my favorite.”

Watch the beautiful clip in full (below):

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I want to share something very personal with you all… Grieving looks very differently on everyone…but one things for certain: I’ve felt it’s hard to feel joy or keep busy when mourning without thinking that you’re not honoring that person or you’re forgetting about them. But @hubbell_woodshop reminded me that honoring someone can mean you’re enjoying your life FOR them… I made it to 1M followers in these last few weeks and at first I was resentful because I gained them from a tragedy, but after giving it a breath.. I realized you all have just surrounded me with love and support. That I just see you angels wrapping your wings around me 🙏🏻 So I’m celebrating 1Million today in a tribute to @nayarivera with her music and her voice that will forever be my favorite

A post shared by Heather Morris (@heatherrelizabethh) on

So, so touching. It’s hard not to empathize with the passion and sadness she exudes throughout her performance. Not to mention, she chose an original song of Rivera’s that hasn’t garnered nearly as much attention as her widely popular Glee covers and it’s always so nice to hear her lovely voice again.

This heartfelt upload comes just days after Heather told followers that posts like these honoring the late 33-year-old actress would “trickle out” over time. Earlier this week, she also shared shots (below) of her two sons Elijah, 6, and Owen, 4, with Naya’s 4-year-old son Josey through the years and reflected on the close bond they had developed.

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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.

A post shared by Heather Morris (@heatherrelizabethh) on

As you’re likely aware, it was reported that Rivera died saving her son when things went horribly wrong during their boating trip on Lake Pira, CA on July 8. She is survived by immediate family members, her son Josey, and his father Ryan Dorsey. We’re continuing to send love to Heather and all of Naya’s loved ones.

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