One year after Naya Rivera’s tragic death, Heather Morris paid permanent tribute to her late Glee co-star and close friend. In addition to sharing several memorial photos on Thursday, July 8, Morris posted Instagram video of herself getting a new tattoo. The final product — a quote on her left forearm — reads, “Tomorrow is not promised.”
Though poignant on its own, the phrase contains a deeper homage to the late actor. One of Rivera’s final tweets prior to her 2020 death read: “No matter the year, circumstance, or strifes everyday you’re alive is a blessing. Make the most of today and every day you are given. Tomorrow is not promised.”
In the caption, Morris further honored her friend, who accidentally drowned in California’s Lake Piru on July 8, 2020 while boating with then-4-year-old son Josey. “It hasn’t gotten easier to write a caption,” Morris wrote. “You are the brightest star in my eyes Naya Rivera. I’m so grateful GOD LAYED A HAND and brought us together as best friends, mom friends, scene partners, and everything in between. Your legacy lives on in kindness and being ‘that sassy queen’ in my eyes. I love you forever bebe girl.”
Several of their other Glee castmates also joined in on paying tribute to Rivera on the one-year anniversary of her death. “I miss you. Every single day,” Kevin McHale captioned a photo of the actor. Meanwhile, Jenna Ushkowitz added, “Always a light, always with us. My heart is with you and your family today. ♥️ love you Nougs.” Others, including Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, and Chris Colfer, also shared their own photos of Rivera on social media.
Outside of Rivera’s Glee family, her ex Tahj Mowry, as well as his sister Tia Mowry posted their own July 8 Instagram memorials. “Today marks a year since you’ve become an angel,” Tia wrote. “This still doesn’t seem real. I miss you. I love you. My beautiful Naya.” The same day, Rivera’s mother, Yolanda Previtire, and her younger sister, Nickayla Rivera, reflected on the actor’s legacy, while appearing on Good Morning America.
Nickayla, for her part, specifically mentioned her big sister’s portrayal of Santana Lopez, a queer Latinx character, on Glee. “It was really awesome to hear the personal stories,” Nickayla recalled on GMA, adding that people would come up to Naya “all the time” with stories of how she saved their lives or helped them come out to their family. “My sister, even though she was acting, was touching people’s real lives and helping them become who they really are and not being ashamed of that. It was just really amazing to see that she had that impact.”
Rivera clearly lives on in the hearts and memories of her loved ones.