Naya Rivera’s younger sister Nickayla says she went on a ‘journey of discovery’ following her sister’s tragic death in July 2020
Naya Rivera’s sister Nickayla has told her fans to embrace life following the Glee star’s tragic death.
The younger sister of Naya, who tragically died at the age of 33 after drowning in California’s Lake Piru, took to her YouTube channel and reintroduced herself to her subscribers after taking a four-year break from the channel.
Nickayla, 28, described her upbringing as a model from a young age, explaining what life was like with late sister Naya – who would attend acting auditions – and their mum in a “small, suburban area” outside of the city.
The model revealed her parents got divorced when they were young, so it was just the three of them for most of their childhood days.
She explained how later on in life, she struggled, and was in a dark place mentally, as she would often compare herself to other models in the industry.
But in 2020, Nickayla said she was determined to make it her year, but then Covid hit.
Fortunately, the star said she got to spend a lot of time with her family during the pandemic, which was rare for her as she would often be travelling around for her job.
The star then went on to share the heartbreaking news of Naya’s death, saying five months later her family encountered a “tragic loss”.
Nickayla told fans: “In July of 2020, my sister Naya passed away. When that happened, I was in complete shock. My whole family was in complete shock. It was like someone pulled the rug from under us and we didn’t see it coming.
“The dark place I was in before, only progressed when that happened. At that time, I had no thoughts of my future. I had no thoughts of myself, really. I was only just experiencing pain. I realised the pain I was experiencing wasn’t going to go anywhere until I decided to find the good in this world.”
On starting her discovery journey, she continued: “I started by quitting my vape I had been smoking for two years.”
Nickayla said she started journalling and went to therapy, putting herself first, becoming mindful, as well as asking herself tough questions.
The model said: “When I started answering all of those questions honestly to myself and I stopped the act, I stopped lying, I stopped pretending, I found myself. I can say that I am a completely changed person.”
She concluded: “Now I look at life for what it is – an opportunity to show the world who you are.
“They say we only have one life, so live it. But I feel like we only have one day, we only have this one moment, the next moment is not promised. So live this moment like you still live.”