When Naya Rivera went missing after boating with her son in early July, her former Glee co-star and good friend Heather Morris was one of the first to to speak up and ask for prayers and public support, as well as eventually trying to help search for Rivera near Lake Piru, where she went missing. Now that her tragic death has been confirmed for over a month, Morris has spoken up in a very honest post on social media about her feelings, and directly addressed fans in an effort to help them through their grief, as well.
Many of Naya Rivera's friends, loved ones and former co-stars have been talking about their feelings and paying tribute to the actress and singer in the past few weeks, and Heather Morris has been among them. She's already talked about how much their friendship meant to her and shared some of the ways they kept in touch once Glee wrapped up in 2015, and now Morris has decided to use Instagram to talk directly to the fans for whom their on-screen romance as Brittany and Santana meant so much. After admitting to feeling "heavy" and having an "aching" in her heart to connect with fans who may be feeling "lost and confused," she said:
I don’t need to explain what the importance of Santana and Brittany’s relationship was to all of you who are watching, because most of you felt like it was your gateway into your current life. Most of you felt like it was an inspiration to become your best self. And I want you to know that that was never lost on me. It was never lost on Naya. We both knew how special that was. I think she knew a little bit more than I did. I really felt it a lot later with all the messages and all the people reaching out. And I knew the writers also knew that as well. They were basically writing for the fans.
The relationship between Brittany Pierce and Santana Lopez was truly important to a lot of Glee fans. From Season 1, it was pretty clear that the two were more than just buddies on the cheer squad at William McKinley High School, and, over six seasons, the characters matured and their romance was allowed to grow into a full blown love that defied expectations and stood in the face of prejudice, even when it came from Santana's beloved grandmother.
Rivera's Santana was frequently reluctant, especially in those early episodes, to admit her true feelings for Brittany, much less want anyone else to know that she was in love with her best friend, despite Brittany being way more open about her feelings and having far fewer worries about letting everyone know the truth. So, it's probably very accurate that watching how their characters developed inspired a lot of viewers to find and live in their own truth, meaning that Santana and Brittany were (and likely continue to be) very important to them.
Morris goes on to say that while Brittany and Santana were important to the fans, the fans were also very important for Glee and that storyline, and she also spoke about how she thinks Rivera's fans can process what's happened:
I felt a really deep need to connect to all of you right now because I just know how important our relationship was to you all, and I know a lot of you feel very lost and very far away from what happened, maybe a little bit confused, and that’s completely normal, but I feel like I owed it to you guys because I think the fans were such a huge impact on our storyline. I want to thank you all for being such advocates and so supportive of Santana and Brittany’s relationship because without you guys, it never would have existed. You guys helped create something for the writers and for Naya and I that made an impact that will last for a lifetime. And beyond that. And so I want to thank everyone here watching and I want to thank all the fans for your love and support, and I want you to know that we are all here with you, that grief looks different on everybody, and I want you to be gentle and kind to yourself during this time.
It was a wonderful thing for Heather Morris to reach out to fans in this way, especially when she's currently mourning the loss of such a good friend.