Big Sean called his ex-fiancée Naya Rivera a "hero" and thanked her for helping him become a "wiser and a better person" in an emotional tribute following her tragic death.
The rapper took to Instagram early Saturday morning, July 18, to post a heartfelt message in honor of the Glee star, who drowned while swimming in South California's Lake Piru during a boating trip with her four-year-old son, Josey. Authorities recovered Rivera's body in the water on July 13, five days after she was first reported missing.
During a press conference, law officials said they believed the 33-year-old actor died saving her child after her unanchored boat started to drift away and that she "mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat but not enough to save herself."
In his touching tribute, Big Sean shared a glamorous black-and-white photo of his ex, as well as a picture of Rivera holding her young son, whom she shared with her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey.
"Rest In Peace Naya, God Bless your Soul," the rapper wrote. "Thank you for blessing us all with your talent and presence. you are a hero! Not just because of how you saved your son, also because of the barriers you knocked down for so many people to make them feel confident in themselves and to stand tall and be proud when they couldn’t achieve that on their own."
Big Sean also reflected on the ups and downs of his relationship with Rivera, which began in April 2013. The pair dated for a year before eventually calling off their engagement in April 2014. The rapper is the latest of Rivera's fans, friends, and Glee costars to share a message to the late actor following her tragic death.
“I appreciate and cherish everything that ever happened between us for making me wiser and a better person,” he concluded his post. "I’m still grieving and in shock, I can’t believe this is real. I’m praying for you and your family and I know you're watching over them and protecting them. Rest In Peace Naya."
Originally Appeared on Glamour