Naya Rivera's Family Gets Emotional Reflecting on Her Life on 1-Year Anniversary of Her Death

One year after the 'Glee' actress' heartbreaking death, her family reflects on their daughter's life and legacy.

Naya Rivera's family continues to mourn her loss, one year after her death.

The late Glee star's mother, Yolanda Previtire, and sister Nickayla, reflected on her life and legacy in an emotional interview with ABC News' Juju Chang and Good Morning America.
"Sometimes we're afraid of the sorrow being so heavy that we're afraid for our own self, 'cause this is hard. There are no words to describe what we're going through," Yolanda expressed of her grief. "All we know is we have each other."

July 8 marks the one-year anniversary of the Glee actress' death at the age of 33. Naya went missing following a boat ride with her then-4-year-old son, Josey, on California's Lake Piru. Her body was recovered five days later. Naya's death was ruled an accidental drowning. She was laid to rest on July 24.

Yolanda recalled the last conversation she had with Naya, sharing that they had a video call the morning she went missing.
"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 had a white, beautiful swimming suit on and she was glowing," Yolanda said, adding that she took screenshots of Josey fishing from the boat during the call. The photos would later help the search teams look for her daughter.
"Thank god I took the pictures, because they were able to look at the topography of the land to locate where they were," she said, also noting that she told Naya "the water's gettin' choppy" and to call her when they got off the boat.

When two detectives showed up at Yolanda's home to tell her they found Josey alone on the boat and that Naya was missing, she said, "It was almost like a force. 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 recalled.

The family began going to therapy to help with the tragic death, with Nickayla expressing how the family copes with the trauma.
"Taking that one day at a time and living it to the fullest, loving each other to the fullest, and not regretting anything," Nickayla shared. "Because I know if we could go back, we'd hug a little bit harder."
Yolanda also said she feels her late daughter'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."

Josey, meanwhile, is being taken care of by Nickayla and the 5-year-old's father, Ryan Dorsey. The family couldn't help but marvel at how much the little boy resembles his late mom.

"[He's] such an outgoing boy," Nickayla said, adding that he "doesn't take anything from anybody -- and neither did Naya. And the biggest thing is he loves entertaining. He loves singing at the top of his lungs."

As for Naya's incredible legacy, she was best known for her queer Latinx character Santana Lopez on Glee.
"It was really awesome to hear the personal stories," Nickayla expressed of her sister's monumental role. "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."
Yolanda added that she hopes that Naya's legacy teaches people to love and care.
"I would like my daughter Naya's legacy to be one that teaches people to love, to care. If something is not right, try to fix it or speak up," she said. "And to just live life. God has given you one life. You are your own person. Love who you are, 'cause you don't get another life."

Meanwhile, Naya's younger brother, Mychal, who wasn't present for the interview, told GMA in a statement: "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."

Last month, ET sat down with Naya's father, George, where he opened up about how becoming a mom changed his daughter.

"He really became everything for her," he said. "Her focus was really on him and he was growing up as she was becoming a mother, she really leaned into that, really leaned into that and the word I want to use is maturity. She became very mature as a person and really receptive to other people's feelings."

"I watched the maturity in her after she had a child, before and after, big difference," he added. See more in the video below.