“A little update Naya, earth is REALLY ghetto now!!!” Riley, 34, began her Instagram tribute to Rivera on Tuesday, January 12. “Still, I miss you so very much and I wish you were here.”
The “Someone You Loved” singer, who played Mercedes Jones on the Fox series alongside Rivera’s Santana Lopez, continued: “There hasn’t been a day where you don’t cross my mind, and when you do, I take a moment of silence to remember all the beautiful moments we got to spend together.”
Riley said she was listening to Amy Winehouse and “sippin wine and eating a very fancy charcuterie [board] in your honor today,” noting that she is also “checking on mom” for her.
“HAPPY HEAVENLY BIRTHDAY ANGEL ??,” she concluded.
Morris, 33, who played Rivera’s onscreen girlfriend, Brittany S. Pierce, shared a throwback photo of the pair for her tribute.
“I can’t write a sappy monologue because it’s just too hard,” she wrote. “But I love you and I can’t describe how much I miss you.”
Last month, the actress’ former castmates honored her memory with a holiday fundraiser for her favorite charity. A GoFundMe page titled SNIXXMAS Charity Drive launched in December 2020, with proceeds going to Alexandria House in Los Angeles, which provides safe housing for women and children.
“This year I lost one of my dearest friends, Naya. She always inspired me because she never let a holiday season go by without giving back to those in need,” Morris wrote in an emotional letter on Instagram at the time. “We’re keeping Nayas spirit alive this holiday season by raising funds for one of her favorite organizations, Alexandria House. Please, give what you can and help spread Snixxmas cheer.” The GoFundMe page raised $117,900 for the charity.
Scroll down to see how Rivera’s former castmates honored her on her birthday.