Yolanda Previtire FaceTimed Naya when she died in the evening. Naya Rivera’s family members are still on grieve a year after the actress dreadfully drowned amidst a boat trip with her young son.
“Sometimes we’re afraid of the sorrow being so heavy that we’re afraid for our self, ’cause this is hard,” Naya’s mother, Yolanda Previtire, told “Good Morning America” on Thursday. “There are no words to describe what we’re going through. All we know is we have each other.”
“I feel Naya’s energy constantly telling me, ‘Mom, be happy. Don’t cry. I’m OK. Go get Josey. Have fun.’ And I feel that it’s coming from her,” she continued. “I wake up every morning, and it’s almost like a restart button, and I have to shake it off, one foot at a time. And here we are.”
In July 2020, Naya borrowed a pontoon boat at California’s Lake Piru with her then 4-year-old son Josey. Hours later the pontoon spotted Josey sleeping on the deck and Naya missing. After a long five-day search, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department exposed Naya’s body in a different piece of the lake. As per the system, after Naya and Josey expired for a swim in the lake, she resisted getting it back on the boat and finally drowned.
Yolanda saw her daughter last time during a FaceTime call the morning of the tragedy.
“I missed two of her FaceTime calls, and I called her back. And we had a beautiful conversation. The sun was kissing her face and she was just beautiful,” she explained. “She had a white, beautiful swimming suit on and she was glowing.”
When it was reported that Naya was missing later that day, Yolanda thought she felt a “force.” “I don’t know what it was, but I was just pushed backward. I just ran backward, if you can imagine, just screaming and I ended up in the bathroom. I slammed the door; I was on the floor and I had to gather myself.”
When the search team found Naya, Yolanda said “it was a relief, in a way.”
“If we could go back, we’d hug a little bit harder,” added Naya’s younger sister Nickayla Rivera.
The two statements said that in a statement given to “GMA,” Naya’s brother Mychal said, “One year without you, one year closer to when we will meet you again. Your endless energy lives on. May you continue to rest so graciously, Naya.”