One year after Naya Rivera tragically died during a boating trip with her son, the "Glee" star's mother is recalling their last conversation — one that happened just a few hours before Naya's last breath.
Yolanda Previtire spoke to "Good Morning America" on July 8 about the actress, saying, "Sometimes we're afraid of the sorrow being so heavy that we're afraid for our own self, 'cause this is hard."
She added, "There are no words to describe what we're going through. All we know is we have each other."
In July 2020, Naya rented a pontoon boat for a leisurely afternoon with her 4-year-old son, Josey, on California's Lake Piru. However, a search began after Naya and the boat had not returned to the dock at the end of the day. Searchers eventually found the boat with Josey in it, but Naya was nowhere to be found. Then, five days after Naya went missing, her body turned up.
Police later said Naya and her son went swimming in the lake, but the water soon got too rough and the boat drifted. Fighting the current, the actress eventually swam her way back near the pontoon and, in her final heroic act, mustered the energy to save Josey by boosting him back up into the boat before disappearing into the water.
Yolanda said she actually spoke to her daughter 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," Yolanda recalled. "She had a white, beautiful swimming suit on and she was glowing."
Yolanda said she felt a "force" later that day when she was told that Naya was missing.
"I don't know what it was, but I literally was just pushed backwards. I just ran backwards, 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," she said.
When authorities recovered Naya's body on July 13, 2020, Yolanda said it "was a relief, in a way."
Although the actress is not physically here, Yolanda said she still feels Naya's presence.
"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," her mom continued. "I literally 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."