Ryan Dorsey Honors Naya Rivera in Emotional Mother's Day Post: 'Hug Your Mommas and Grandmas'

Ryan Dorsey shares six-year-old son Josey with the late actress, who died in July 2020

Ryan Dorsey Shares Touching Mother’s Day Post Two Years After Naya Rivera’s Death
Photo: Ryan Dorsey/Instagram

Ryan Dorsey is remembering Naya Rivera with love this Mother's Day.

The actor, 38, took to Instagram Monday to reflect on how the holiday feels as he grieves his late ex-wife, with whom he shares son Josey, 6. The Glee actress died in July 2020 at age 33 as a result of a drowning accident.

The carousel began with a snap of Josey and his paternal grandmother, followed by a series of sweet throwbacks of Rivera and their son, and pictures of flowers at her grave.

"I woke up thinking about so much," the Big Sky actor began the caption. "Josey with his grandma & me by myself. I don't text Happy Mothers Day b/c that seems like an insane thing to do considering. My mind full of so many thoughts. So many things. So many things to do this Sunday but first thing on the list was to get on with it & head to my least favorite place in the world."

Ryan Dorsey Shares Touching Mother’s Day Post Two Years After Naya Rivera’s Death
Ryan Dorsey/Instagram

Comparing his childhood to his son's, he continued, "Flashes of memories of me as a little boy at his age w/ my mom turned into some gratitude for the years I've had & still have, turns into the times my son & I had with his and how they were stopped... I know how this day is going to go. Plenty of time for water works, but not now. I fight it & up I get."

Writing about driving through Los Angeles, Dorsey said that many places remind him of Rivera, from where she lived when they first met to where they once shared a meal.

"Turning onto Forest Lawn Drive will alway bring the memory of two summers ago," he wrote of pulling into the cemetery in Hollywood Hills. "But the memories prior to that I have to be grateful for & our son."

Later in the post, he concluded, "Hug your mommas and grandmas, and love 'em while you can. Forgive & forget, if you can. You don't wanna maybe wish what if you did one day.❤️🖤"

Dorsey, who was married to Rivera from 2014 to 2018, paid tribute to the mother of his son on what would have been her 35th birthday in January, in a statement shared with PEOPLE.

Ryan Dorsey and son Josey
Ryan Dorsey/instagram

"She knew how willing Josey was to share his things but she'd be so proud to see how he'll give things he loves away to friends or donate them," Dorsey said at the time.

"He has this unique literal laugh-out-LOUD cackle of laugh when he's watching TV that's kind of obnoxiously endearing like hers was, but his even more so. No matter your mood, it would make anyone smile if you heard it," the father of one said.

"At least once a day I find myself shaking my head, like it's still unbelievable, so surreal that she's gone. She'd be freaking out today, I could almost hear her: 'OMG, I'm almost 40!' " he added. "It's hard to write this, tears coming out my eyes. Unf---ing real."

In July 2020, Rivera and Josey rented a boat at Lake Piru in Southern California. When the boat was not returned on time, staff found it on the north side of the lake with Josey sleeping in his life jacket on board, but the mom was not with her child.

Rivera was missing for five days before she was found on July 13. An autopsy later determined her cause of death to be an accidental drowning, and authorities determined that she likely saved her son by putting him back on board the boat before she died. Rivera was laid to rest on July 24, 2020.

In June 2021, Rivera's father George Rivera told PEOPLE that his late daughter was "looking forward to so many things" in her future.

"She loved being a mother and you could see the maturity and satisfaction that Josey brought. It was a good time for her," he said.

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