In an appearance today on ABC’s Good Morning America, Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire said the sadness from the loss remains hard to bear.
“Sometimes we’re afraid of the sorrow being so heavy that we’re afraid for our own self,” Previtire said, “because this is hard. There are no words to describe what we’re going through. All we know is we have each other.”
Also appearing in the exclusive GMA interview was Rivera’s sister Nickayla Rivera. Both described the days following the actress’ death as hell.
Previtire told ABC News’ Juju Chang that she spoke to her daughter via video call on the drowning. “I missed two of her FaceTime calls, and I called her back,” the actress’ mother says. “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.”
Previtire recalled noticing that the lake water was “getting choppy” and warning her daughter to boat to a cove until the water was calmer.
Rivera and her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, then 4, had been enjoying a day on the lake when both went swimming. The boy was later found alone on the boat, wearing a life jacket.
Said Previtire, “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. 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.”
Watch the GMA interview above.