By Maureen Lee Lenker
July 15, 2020 at 08:49 PM EDT
naya rivera, cory monteith
Credit: John Medina/WireImage

From the family of one Glee star gone too soon to another, Cory Monteith's mother paid tribute to his late castmate Naya Rivera in an Instagram post Wednesday.

July 13 has been a dark day for the Glee family since Monteith's death by accidental overdose seven years ago. With Monday's discovery of Rivera's body after her death by accidental drowning at age 33, it became doubly terrible for all those involved with the series. Monteith's mother, Ann McGregor, called out the horrific timing of this event, while also honoring Rivera and memorializing how much Monteith loved and respected his costar.

"For the last 7 years the 13th of July has shattered our hearts beyond repair," McGregor wrote. "There aren’t enough words to describe the pain we are feeling, we are truly heartbroken at the loss of @nayarivera."

McGregor continued, "Naya, Cory loved you so so much. He cherished your friendship more than you will ever know. From the laughs you shared, to the strength you gave him when he needed it the most."

She went on to reference the infamous season 3 scene in which Monteith's character, Finn, outed Rivera's character, Santana, and Santana responded by slapping him in the face in the school auditorium: "Cory truly adored you. He was in awe of your incredible talent, the way you gave everything you had to each performance; the slap in the auditorium was one of his favourite stories to share. You once said Cory was like a member of your family; you will always be a part of ours. We’ll carry you in our hearts forever. We miss you. Friends reunited for eternity. We send all our love and strength to your beautiful boy, your family, friends and fans."

Rivera is survived by her parents, Yolanda and George Rivera; her younger brother, Mychal; her younger sister, Nickayla; and her 4-year-old son, Josey.

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