Ryan Dorsey mourns Naya Rivera in Mother’s Day post: ‘All we can do is go on’

A man in a gray suit posing with a woman in a white turtleneck
Ryan Dorsey, left, and Naya Rivera arrive at a Hollywood event at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in 2017.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision/Associated Press)
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Actor Ryan Dorsey, ex-husband of the late Naya Rivera, mourned the TV star Monday in a heartbreaking Mother’s Day post on Instagram.

The “Big Sky” actor uploaded a series of photos of Rivera sharing precious moments with their young son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, who is now 6. In one image, “Glee” alum Rivera helps Josey blow out the candles on his Cookie Monster birthday cake. Another sees Josey embrace his mother with a giant smile on his face. A third depicts Rivera reading a Dr. Seuss book to the captivated toddler.

“I woke up thinking about so much. Josey with his grandma & me by myself,” Dorsey wrote in the caption. “I don’t text Happy Mothers Day b/c that seems like an insane thing to do considering. My mind full of so many thoughts. ... So many things to do this Sunday but first thing on the list was to get on with it & head to my least favorite place in the world.


“I tried to go back to sleep for a little longer as if I could just dream through reality and postpone real life a bit longer. But I just lay there staring up through the air in front of my eyes.”

Naya Rivera, the actress best known as Santana Lopez on Fox’s hit musical TV series “Glee,” was found dead Monday after going missing last week on Lake Piru.

July 13, 2020

Dorsey’s post comes nearly two years after Rivera was found dead at 33 in Lake Piru. According to the Ventura County medical examiner, the beloved actor accidentally drowned while on a boat outing with Josey, who was 4 at the time. Dorsey and Rivera were married for two years before the latter filed for divorce in 2016.

In his emotional Instagram tribute, Dorsey recalled scattered family memories that are intrinsically linked to Los Angeles: “This is where we took [Josey] when he was little that one time,” “Damn, we had dinner there,” “That’s the street I used to live on when we first met,” “She used to live there on Magnolia,” “Flowers sold out where I used to always get them.”

The actress, whose body was discovered Monday, disappeared last week during a boat outing with her young son.

July 14, 2020

“The harder I think about things, it’s harder to believe. Un-fu— believable, still that this is reality. That this is our real life and I have to blink hard & shake my head as if to snap out of it & grasp the facts of it all once and for all,” he wrote.

“The thing about LA for me is its like every mile or so I drive is a memory of an experience that stings bc it’s gone. Turning onto Forest Lawn Drive will alway bring the memory of two summers ago. But the memories prior to that I have to be grateful for & our son.”

Also included in Dorsey’s post was a photo of flowers next to Rivera’s memorial, which reads, “Amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend. Heaven gained our sassy angel.” Rivera was best known for her trailblazing turn as cheerleader Santana Lopez on the hit musical series “Glee.”


The ‘Glee’ family came together Monday to honor actress Naya Rivera, whose body sheriffs were ‘confident’ they had found in Lake Piru.

July 14, 2020

“Thinking about regrets & how life could be, but how it is. Then I have to go on with my day and … that’s all we can do is go on, go on while we can,” Dorsey continued.

“Hug your mommas and grandmas, and love ‘em while you can. Forgive & forget, if you can. You don’t wanna maybe wish what if you did one day.”