"I never knew that by losing you, I would find so much of you in myself."

Lia Beck
July 27, 2020 8:12 am
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin, Getty Images

After Naya Rivera’s tragic death in early July, her younger sister, Nickayla Rivera, is now sharing her feelings publicly. In an Instagram post on July 25th, Nickayla wrote a tribute to Naya in which she talks about their “unbreakable” bond.

“Sister,⁣” Nickayla wrote next to an old photo of the two of them, “There are no words to describe my love for you. Side by side or miles apart, our connection is infinite. Our bond is unbreakable. We were complete opposites, yet simultaneously the same. The yin to my yang. I never knew that by losing you, I would find so much of you in myself.”

Nickayla goes on to write about how, being the younger sister, she never knew a life without Naya. While Naya was 33 at the time of her death, Nickayla is 25 years old. They also have a brother, former NFL player Mychal Rivera, who is 29. Like Mychal and Naya, Nickayla is also in the public eye. She is a professional model and is signed with Wilhemina and Photogenics

“My world is turned upside down,” Nickayla continued in her Instagram post. “But through it all, everything we were, we are still. I’ll always look at you with the same eyes as I did when I was young.⁣”

She ended, “My shmaya, I’ll love you for eternity & miss you every second of my life.”

Nickayla also posted a second photo of herself and her sister and wrote simply, “i love you.” 

While this is the first time Nickayla has personally spoken out following her sister’s death, Naya’s family previously released a statement.

“While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister,” the statement reads in part, as reported by Deadline. The family then goes on to thank the sheriff’s departments that worked to find Naya. They add, “Heaven gained our sassy angel.”