Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of Rivera's tragic death, which occurred after she went missing following a boat ride with her then-4-year-old son, Josey, on California's Lake Piru. Her body was recovered five days later. A number of her close co-stars took to social media to remember Rivera, including Heather Morris, who shared video of herself getting a tattoo in her honor.
"It hasn't gotten easier to write a caption," Morris wrote. "You are the brightest star in my eyes Naya Rivera. I'm so grateful GOD LAYED A HAND and brought us together as best friends, mom friends, scene partners, and everything in between. Your legacy lives on in kindness and being 'that sassy queen' in my eyes. I love you forever bebe girl."
"It definitely took a toll on us all and, you know, shocked us to our cores," Ushkowitz said of how the Glee family was coping with Rivera's death at just 33 years old. "And so it's been hard and not a day goes by that I don't think of her and that we don't think of her."
McHale said the Glee cast had been coping by leaning on one another. The tight-knit cast has experienced multiple tragedies, including the deaths of Cory Monteith and Mark Salling.
"Like Jenna said, we have been through this a couple times," he noted. "Shockingly, that doesn't make it any easier, especially I think with the type of loss or the tragic unexpectedness of it all and again ... all you want to do in these times because we are so close is just be around one another and hug one another and just cry into Jenna's arms sort of thing."
"It's a good group to fall back into that even if we can’t physically be in the same room," he added. "A couple weeks ago, I woke up and just had her on my mind and I texted the group just like... 'Thinking about her today, thinking about you guys. Love you.' And if it's not me, it's Jenna or it's Amber [Riley]. It's somebody else. And we have that to go to and knowing that that group is there, that knows exactly how I feel, is -- I mean, it's something you can never expect and something I would never take for granted."
ET also spoke with Rivera's father, George, ahead of his daughter's 1-year death anniversary, and he talked about her legacy.
"It's about sort of the strong dynamic personality and never giving up," he said. "Never giving up on your dream and your focus. It's what I'm trying to teach all her Twitter followers, the joy that she had in life, right? The joy that she had and living the life that she lived. She knew she was lucky, but she knew she worked hard for that."