Glee star Heather Morris — who portrayed Brittany S. Pierce, the love interest of Naya Rivera’s Santana Lopez character on the Fox musical comedy series — held back tears as she looked back at the couple’s relationship, a month after Rivera’s tragic death.
“I have been feeling very heavy lately,” Morris said in a video posted on Instagram Sunday (Aug. 9). “I’ve been feeling this like aching in my heart to connect with my fans, to connect with everybody who’s been feeling a little lost, a little confused during this time.”
“I don’t need to explain what the importance of Santana and Brittany’s relationship was to all of you who are watching because most of you felt like it was your gateway into your current life. Most of you felt like it was an inspiration to become your best self. I want you to know that that was never lost on me. It was never lost on Naya,” said the actress of her late friend and co-star, who died at the age of 33 in a drowning at the Lake Piru, Calif., lake where she went missing while boating with her 4-year-old son.
Of the “Brittana” story arc, Morris said, “We both knew how special that was. I think she knew a little bit more than I did.”
She continued: “I really felt it a lot later with all the messages and all the people reaching out, and I knew the writers also knew that as well. They were basically writing for the fans.”
“I felt a really deep need to connect to all of you right now,” Morris said, her eyes watering, “because I just know how important our relationship was to you all. And I know a lot of you feel very lost and very far away from what happened, maybe a little bit confused. And that’s completely normal. But I felt like it owed it to you guys because I think the fans were such a huge impact on our storyline, and I want to thank you all for being such advocates and so supportive of Santana and Brittany’s relationship because without you guys it never would have existed. You guys helped create something for the writers. and for Naya and I, that made an impact that will last for a lifetime and beyond then.”
“So I want to thank everyone here watching,” she said, “and I want to thank all the fans for your love and support. I want you to know that we are all here with you, that grief looks different on everybody and I want you to be gentle and kind to yourself during this time. I think maybe a lot of you feel very far away. I’m hoping that this message might help you feel a little closer.”
Morris shared a coping method that has been helpful to her while in mourning.
“Something that’s helped me is to write a letter, talk to her,” she said of maintaining a connection with Rivera.
Watch her video message below.