Chris Colfer: Glee Star Pays Touching Tribute to "Cool Older Sister" Naya Rivera

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It's been just over a week since authorities confirmed the death of Naya Rivera.

The Glee star disappeared while swimming with her 4-year-old son in California's Lake Piru on July 8.

Naya Rivera Profile Pic

It is now believed Rivera helped her son to safety, but was unable to save herself.

She was just 33 years old.

In the days since her body was recovered, tributes to Rivera have come pouring in from all over the globe.

Naya Rivera in 2016

Family, friends, and a legion of devoted fans have taken to social media to share stories of the myriad ways in which Naya touched their lives.

The tributes did not arrive all at once, but were staggers, as Naya's loved ones struggled to make sense of their feelings and put them into words.

Now, Glee star Chris Colfer has become the latest professional colleague of Rivera's to praise her talent, her work ethic, her intellect -- and, most importantly, her character.

Naya and Chris

"She was the cool older sister you went to for advice, to blow off steam or to get the hottest take on the latest gossip. Just being in Naya's presence made you feel protected and regardless of the situation, you knew she'd have your back," Colfer wrote on Instagram on Tuesday.

"She was never afraid to stand up to authority, she always called out mistreatment where she saw it and she always told you the truth—even when it was hard to hear."

Colfer remembered Rivera as "funniest and most quotable" and recalled that her sense of humor was particularly cherished on "particularly rough days of filming."

Naya Rivera and Chris Colfer

"Once, during a heated exchange between an actor and a director, I'll never forget her turning to me with a cheeky grin and asking, 'Is this a bad time to tell someone the DVD player in my trailer isn't working?"' he wrote.

Colfer says his grief over losing Naya is so profound that it's often left him wondering if his friend was real or part of some glorious dream.

"In fact, the process of losing her has been such a nightmare, I find myself wondering if Naya was even real or if she was just a dream all along," he wrote.

Naya Rivera Waves

"How could a human being be that talented, that hilarious and that beautiful at once? How could one person be responsible for so much joy and be the subject of so many wonderful memories?"

Colfer concluded with a reminder of how important Naya's work was to a generation of young people:

"Her heroic and groundbreaking portrayal of Santana Lopez on Glee inspired millions of young people around the world, especially in the LGBTQIA community, and it will be treasured for generations to come," he wrote.

Naya Rivera for Fox

"Naya leaves behind a void that only Naya herself could fill," Colfer continued.

"To have a friend like her, even briefly, is to be blessed beyond belief."

We hope that for those who knew her best, grief over the loss of Naya is in some way ameliorated by the fact that she was adored by millions.

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