"I will spend the rest of my life missing and loving you, and I'm all the better for knowing you," the actress said of Cameron Boyce
In an emotional six-part video shared to Instagram on Tuesday, Cameron, 23, struggled to get through her handwritten note as she tearfully paid tribute to the late Disney Channel actor, whom she referred to as an “earth angel.”
The Liv and Maddie star began by explaining that it had taken her three days to speak out about Boyce’s sudden passing, in part because she had trouble coming to terms with her feelings and emotions.
However, after going to therapy on Tuesday, Cameron said she felt ready to open up about the loss of her friend and planned on doing so in a letter.
“I felt really weird about posting about Cameron on social media because I felt really emotional and private and intimate and social media is the opposite of that,” she shared in the black-and-white video. “I just couldn’t quite reconcile the two or make them fit so I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
“I’ve decided that the only way to get through it right now is to be expressive and connective,” she continued, before revealing her open letter. “The last 72 hours have felt like two weeks, and I’ve spent them trying to make my thoughts and feelings into words and communicate about anything I’m feeling.”
“I’ve been unsuccessful thinking about trying to summarize something where there are no adequate words in the English language,” Cameron explained of her grief. “I’ve been mostly quiet or expressive through crying. I’ve never stuttered and unable to speak before these last few days. My system is still in shock, my brain is still foggy and full of holes.”
The Disney Channel star went on to express her condolences to Boyce’s family.
While getting choked up, Cameron shared to his parents and sister, “You are all I can think about. My heart aches for you, I’m broken for you. I have close to nothing left, which tells me some small percentage about how you must be feeling.”
Cameron continued by noting how special Boyce was, recalling specific moments from their friendship in which the actor went out of his way to help her.
“Cameron was one of my favorite people alive in the world. Though I know that’s not unique to me, Cameron was magic — an earth angel,” she said. “Over the last six years, since he was only 14, Cameron talked me down from countless ledges, talked me through eating disorders, helped me out of a dark relationship and through endless breakdowns.”
She also called her Descendants costar “undoubtedly the most talented person most of us will ever know” and recognized how he “was always good and kind,” “selfless and generous” and “an ultimate example of a human being.”
“Goodbye my dear, dear friend and brother,” she finished. “You leave behind a colossal wake, a profound chasm that can never be filled, but you also leave millions and millions of deeply impacted, hope-filled and loved-filled human beings who are who they are because of you and how you spent your brief 20 years on this Earth.”
“What a gift you were; you turned the world on its head,” Cameron added. “We can all only hope to be half the human that you were and you deserved so much more time … I will spend the rest of my life missing and loving you, and I’m all the better for knowing you.”
News of Boyce’s death was confirmed by the actor’s family on Saturday night.
“It is with a profoundly heavy heart that we report that this morning we lost Cameron,” a family spokesperson said in a statement to PEOPLE.
“He passed away in his sleep due to a seizure which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated. The world is now undoubtedly without one of its brightest lights, but his spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved him,” the family spokesperson said. “We are utterly heartbroken and ask for privacy during this immensely difficult time as we grieve the loss of our precious son and brother.”
The Los Angeles-born Boyce was best known for his role as Luke Ross on Disney Channel’s Jessie and as Cruella de Vil’s son Carlos in the Descendants TV movies.
Boyce, Cameron, Sofia Carson, and Booboo Stewart all reprised their roles for the upcoming third installment in the music-driven story about famous Disney villains’ children wrestling with whether or not they have inherited the evilness of their parents.
In the days since Boyce’s tragic death, friends and family of the young actor have been in shock, including his Descendants 3 costars, who are preparing for the film’s premiere next month.
A source told PEOPLE that the stars of the global smash franchise have been grappling with the realization that Boyce is no longer alive.
“Everyone is in a state of complete shock,” the source said. “The cast had a strong bond and this is unimaginable.”
Cameron wasn’t the only person from the Descendants to express their sadness over Boyce’s sudden passing. China McClain and director Kenny Ortega also wrote touching tributes to the 20-year-old actor.
Similar to Cameron, McClain, 20, shared a heartfelt series of videos on Instagram on Tuesday, where she tearfully reflected on her friendship with Boyce and shared her own grief since his tragic death.
“I know that it’s taken me a while to get on and say something,” she began. “I just needed to step away from my phone and definitely be off of social media and the internet. I’m just … seeing the headlines and stuff was too hard, I couldn’t do that.”
“But now, I feel like I don’t really believe any of this is actually happening, I think,” McClain continued. “I think that my mind is just shut down. I am kind of feeling a little numb, just like a little bit empty, like just going through the motions.”
“I lost my best friend. My closet friend, my longest friend,” the actress, who first crossed paths with Boyce on the set of the 2010 comedy film Grown Ups, added in the video. “I never again have a friend like Cameron.”
Ortega added in an Instagram post of his own, “My Love, Light and Prayers go out to Cameron and his Family. Cameron brought Love, Laughter and Compassion with him everyday I was in his presence. His talent, immeasurable. His kindness and generosity, overflowing.”
“It has been an indescribable honor and pleasure to know and work with him,” Ortega continued. “I will see you again in all things loving and beautiful my friend. I will search the stars for your light. Rest In Peace Cam. You will always be My Forever Boy!”