Days after Cameron Boyce‘s tragic death, his sister is speaking out about the loss of her brother and best friend.
In an emotional Instagram tribute on Thursday, Maya Boyce shared photos of Cameron captured throughout his life alongside a lengthy and heartfelt statement.
“Yes, he died. Yes, I’m sad. Cameron was my best friend. He is someone I will always idolize. His smile could light up a room, unlike anyone else’s,” Maya, 17, began the post.
“He was perfect. He always said that if you have a voice, you have the privilege of using that voice for change, and he did not take that idea lightly. He understood his responsibility as someone so many kids would look up to,” she continued. “Cameron always went out of his way to be giving and kind.”
Maya noted that Cameron, who was best known for his role as Cruella de Vil’s son in the Descendants TV movies and as Luke Ross on Disney Channel’s Jessie, “did more with his 20 years of life, than most people ever could with 100 years.”
She praised Cameron as “actively charitable” and an adventurer who “traveled the world. He made creativity and art his life’s mission, and he encouraged others to do the same.”
“Of course, I am devastated. I will be for the rest of my life,” Maya said.
But although she is heartbroken and grieving, Maya said that “what I’m holding onto, and what I encourage you to hold onto as well, is the memory of his endless optimism.”
“He was sunlight wearing shoes. I can confidently say, he wants us to celebrate, grow, and persevere. Yes, he died. Yes, I’m sad. I’m also happy. And grateful. I was with him hours before he died. It was normal and fun,” she continued. “We said, ‘I love you.’ He was happy.”
Maya concluded the loving post: “I spent 17 years knowing what it was like to be loved by Cameron Boyce. That is the most beautiful gift I have ever received.”
On Saturday, Cameron was found unresponsive in his North Hollywood home, and he was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:35 p.m., the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner announced. He was 20.
Two days later, “an autopsy was performed and the cause and manner of death were deferred pending additional testing,” the coroner said.
As of Thursday, “preliminary information suggests the death occurred under natural circumstances,” but “the final cause and manner of death will be determined at a later date,” according to the coroner.
The star’s family said on Tuesday that his “tragic passing was due to a seizure as a result of an ongoing medical condition, and that condition was epilepsy.”
“We are still trying to navigate our way through this extremely heart-wrenching time, and continue to ask for privacy so that the family and all who knew and loved him can grieve his loss and make arrangements for his funeral — which in and of itself, is agonizing,” the family added.
“My son. Just hours before he was snatched from our lives,” Victor captioned the Instagram shot of Cameron sitting at a table in a denim jacket, with his hand held up to his chin. “I miss him terribly. I hope that no one ever has to feel the agony I’m feeling but no one is immune to tragedy.”