Dorsey paid tribute to Rivera — who went missing at Lake Piru in Southern California earlier this month — in a heartbreaking post on Instagram Saturday with a photo of the late actor and their 4-year-old son, Josey.
“This is so unfair … there’s not enough words to express the hole left in everyone’s hearts,” he wrote in the lengthy caption. “I can’t believe this is life now. I don’t know if I’ll ever believe it. You were just here. … We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn’t fair.”
After a days-long search for Rivera, her body was recovered on July 13, and officials declared her death an accidental drowning.
Josey — who was found alone on a boat on the lake after it was overdue for return — told authorities that the mother and son went for a swim but that she did not get back in the vessel, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said. Because of the strong currents on the lake that day, authorities suspected that Rivera “mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself.”
“I’m thankful for our times and our journey that brought us together and gave us the sweetest and kindest smart little boy we could ever hope for,” Dorsey said in his Instagram post. He recalled that Rivera often got annoyed at how many photos he took of the family.
“I’m glad I didn’t listen to you because I have hundreds and probably thousands of snaps and videos that Josey will have forever and know his momma loved him more than life, and how much fun we had together as he was growing up,” he added.
The two actors began dating in 2010 and tied the knot four years later, in July 2014, in an intimate ceremony in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The wedding was a surprise to many fans, as Rivera publicly ended her engagement to rapper Big Sean a few months earlier.
The couple experienced their fair share of ups and downs during their marriage, with Rivera filing paperwork to divorce a year after they welcomed their first child together in 2015. She eventually called it off, but the pair finally split in 2017, a week after a domestic dispute. Rivera was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery, but the case was later dismissed when Dorsey did not press charges.
“Life is all about good times and bad times but with Josey it makes the bad a little less so because a part of you will always be with us,” Dorsey concluded in his post. “He’ll never forget where he came from. We miss you. We will always love you. Love you Meep.”
He then went on to thank fans for the “overwhelming love and support” the family has received in recent weeks, encouraging anyone reading to live life to the fullest.
“Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, forgive … forget … don’t hold grudges … if you have nothing nice to say maybe try not to say anything,” Dorsey wrote. “There’s peace in silence. Time on Earth is precious and you just never know … you never know what could happen. Hold your loved ones close, and cherish the times you have with those you care about.”
Along with many of Rivera’s family members and former “Glee” co-stars, Dorsey visited Lake Piru after her disappearance, gathering together in the water and helping the authorities with search efforts.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter