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How Naya Rivera’s death changed her sister’s ‘outlook on the human experience’

Naya Rivera’s sister revealed the tragic 2020 drowning of the “Glee” actress changed her “outlook on the human experience.”

“My family and I experienced a tragic loss. And when that happened, I was in complete shock,” Nickayla Rivera, 28, said in a new YouTube video on Monday following a four-year hiatus from her channel.

Nickayla Rivera opened up for the first time about falling into a deep depression after her sister Naya's tragic death in 2020.
Nickayla included home videos of herself and Naya.
Nickayala Rivera/Youtube

“My whole family was in complete shock. It was like someone pulled the rug from under us and we didn’t see it coming,” she continued, accompanied by home videos of her and Naya in their childhood home.

Nickayla noted that she was already in a “dark place” before suffering the loss of her sister, which led her into a deeper depression.

Nickayla Rivera admitted that she was already in a "dark place" when her sister died.
Nickayla admitted that she was already in a “dark place” when her sister died.
nickaylarivera/Instagram

“The dark place that I was in before only progressed when that happened. At that time, I had no thoughts of my future. I had no thoughts of myself, really. I was only just experiencing pain,” she admitted.

Naya, who was 33 when she died, went missing on July 8, 2020, while on a Lake Piru boating trip with her 6-year-old son Josey.

Naya Rivera and her son Josey.
Naya and her son Josey were boating in California when she tragically drowned.
Getty Images

The extensive search ended on July 13 when her body was found and she was confirmed dead.

Josey was found unharmed on the boat, with officials suggesting that Naya had been able to hoist her son onto the pontoon after they went swimming in the lake.

Nickayla now takes care of her young nephew, along with his dad, Ryan Dorsey.

After a days-long search, her body was found and she was confirmed dead on July 13.
After a days-long search, Naya’s body was found and she was confirmed dead on July 13.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

“I realized that the pain that I was experiencing wasn’t going to go anywhere until I decided to find the good in this world,” Nickayla said in the video. “So from then on, I went on this journey of discovering who I was.

“Before I looked at life like it was a burden because of small, minute things that in the grand scheme of things, don’t matter.”

Nickayla concluded, “Now I look at life for what it is: an opportunity to show the world who you are, for your authentic self and nothing less. They say we only have one life, so live it. But I feel like we only have one day. We only have one moment. The next moment is not promised, so live this moment like you stole it.”

About the author

Tina Sanders

Tina is the mind behind Gruntstuff.com, and she ideated it when she was working for an online magazine company where she used to cover US-based headlines news. She holds a degree in journalism and has more than 4.5 years of experience in an online magazine company. She had the idea while working there but when she was quite sure about starting something on her own, she took the risk and left the job to start Gruntstuff. Since then she added a few team members, and along with them, she creates General US news content on the site.

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