Naya Rivera would've celebrated her 35th birthday on Wednesday (January 12). In honor of her special day, her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, shared an emotional statement with People. In his tribute, Dorsey shared how proud Rivera would be of their young son, Josey.
"She knew how willing Josey was to share his things but she'd be so proud to see how he'll give things he loves away to friends or donate them," Dorsey's statement reads. "He has this unique literal laugh-out-LOUD cackle of laugh when he's watching TV that's kind of obnoxiously endearing like hers was, but his even more so. No matter your mood, it would make anyone smile if you heard it."
Rivera and Dorsey were married in 2014, however, they ultimately split in 2018. The former couple welcomed Josey in September 2015.
"At least once a day I find myself shaking my head, like it's still unbelievable, so surreal that she's gone," Dorsey continued. "She'd be freaking out today, I could almost hear her: 'OMG, I'm almost 40!' It's hard to write this, tears coming out my eyes. Unf—ing real."
Dorsey paid tribute to his late ex-wife on her birthday last year, as well. "Just as surreal as it is real that you're gone. If that makes sense, but none of this still makes any sense…34...I could just hear you saying 'Ah, I'm old AF now!' Ha…Rest easy old lady," he wrote.
Rivera passed away due to accidental drowning in July 2020. She was missing for five days before her body was discovered at Lake Piru in Southern California. Rivera and Josey had rented a boat together, however, when the boat was not returned on time, lake staff discovered Josey asleep, wearing a life vest, on the rental alone. Authorities believe Rivera drowned after putting Josey back on the unanchored boat. She was laid to rest later that same month.