Dec. 9 marks the fifth anniversary of singer-songwriter and Mexican-music icon Jenni Rivera’s death. To commemorate her life, which was lost in a 2012 plane crash at age 44, her five children will host a one-hour special, Remembering Jenni, Our Mom, airing at 7 p.m. on Universo.
Five years after the tragedy, the family continues to mourn. “Obviously it’s a very difficult month for us and a difficult day,” her daughter Chiquis Rivera told PEOPLE CHICA .
The 32-year-old songstress, who will drop her second album in March, said that she misses her mom’s “hugs and advice” the most, adding that the holiday season is an especially hard time for the Rivera family. “These past five years we’ve had our ups and downs,” she said, “but what helps me the most during the holidays is being together. That to me is so important. I do my best as the oldest [sibling] to keep us all together, because I know that’s what she would want.”
The television special will feature Rivera’s five children — Chiquis, Jacqui Campos, Michael Marín, Jenicka Rivera and Johnny Lopez, the stars of Universo’s reality show The Riveras — as well as her parents Rosa and Pedro, her sister Rosie, her best friends and fans.
During the celebration of the influential artist’s life and legacy, “you are going to be able to see Jenni as our momma,” Chiquis said. “It’s remembering her smile, her laugh, what she left in each of us.”
But their show must go on. Chiquis, whose 16-year-old brother, Johnny Lopez, recently came out as bisexual, told PEOPLE CHICA that the new season of The Riveras will explore his coming-out process. “Definitely you will see a lot of scenes pertaining to this subject. It’s something that happened while we were recording, so it wasn’t something that I wanted to exclude,” she says. “We are pretty honest and transparent, and this new season has even taken me by surprise. There are so many situations and experiences that we are all living. It’s five of us, five different paths; it’s so much!”
According to Chiquis, the rest of the Rivera clan has taken Johnny’s news well. “The great thing about our family is that we always support each other and we respect everyone’s decision. I think that Johnny has been brave and very honest with all of us and that’s the first step,” she said. “I’m just happy for him that he can be free to be himself. He has my full support and from what I hear from all my family, they are fine with it.”
Chiquis said that finding her own way after her mother’s untimely death has been a struggle. “I always say I had the best school, the Hard-Knock Life University, that’s where I graduated from. Jenni Rivera was my professor,” she says. “I learned a lot from her. Now I’m just doing my own thing and always keeping her in mind and what she has taught me.”