“I have been feeling really heavy lately. I’ve been feeling this, like, aching in my heart to connect with my fans, to connect with everybody who’s been feeling a little lost and a little confused during this time,” the 33-year-old said in an Instagram Live.
Morris, who played Brittany, the love interest of Rivera’s cheerleader Santana on the Fox show, said she knows how important their characters’ love story was to so many viewers.
“Most of you felt like it was your gateway into your current life,” she said. “Most of you felt like it was an inspiration to become your best self, and I want you to know that was never lost on me. It was never lost on Naya. We both knew how special that was. I think she knew a little bit more than I did. I really felt it a lot later, with all the messages and all the people reaching out and many of the writers also knew that as well. They were basically writing for the fans.”
“I felt a really deep need to connect to all of you right now,” Morris continued as she began to get emotional and tear up. “Because I just know how important our relationship was to you all and I know a lot of you feel very lost and very far away from what happened, maybe a little bit confused and that’s completely normal.”
Wiping the tears from her eyes, she continued, “I want to thank you all for being such advocates and so supportive of Santana and Brittany’s relationship because without you guys it would never have existed. You guys helped create something for the writers and for Naya and I that made an impact that will last for a lifetime and beyond that.”
“I want to thank all the fans for your love and support. And want you to know that we are all here with you, that grief looks different on everybody, and I want you to be gentle and kind to yourself during this time,” Morris added.
She explained how she’s been dealing with her grief over the loss of her friend, who drowned in a California lake on July 8 while out boating with her 4-year-old son, Josey.
“Something that’s helped me is to write a letter or talk to her and so I hope that helps,” Morris concluded. “But I really just wanted to connect to you guys and tell you how much I love and appreciate all of you. That’s it, that’s all I’ve got besides my tears.”
As Us Weekly exclusively reported Morris, who remained close to Rivera after Glee ended in 2015, called the sheriff’s office several times while her friend remained unaccounted for and asked to join the search party. She and other Glee cast members including Amber Riley were spotted praying near the lake on July 13, just as Rivera’s body was found, five days after the 33-year-old went missing.
Morris has previously paid tribute to her pal on Instagram, writing on July 17, “You’re still here with me. And I’m not done remembering your legacy. … I’m doing something everyday to honor your strength and it helps me to feel close to you. I love you Nay.”