Rivera’s mother, Yolanda Previtaire, told “Good Morning America” that she is often overwhelmed with sadness.
“Sometimes we’re so afraid of being so heavy that we frighten for ourselves, ’cause it’s hard. There are no words to describe what we’re going through,” she said. “We all know we have each other.”
Previtaire said he feels his daughter is with him.
“I feel like Naya’s energy is constantly telling me, ‘Mom, be happy. Don’t cry. I’m fine. Go get Josie. Have fun.’ And I think it’s coming from him,” she said. “I wake up literally every morning, and it’s almost like a restart button, and I have to move it a leg at a time. And here we are.”
The last time she saw her daughter was on a FaceTime call on the morning of the tragedy.
“I missed two of her FaceTime calls, and I called her back. And we had a lovely conversation. Suraj was kissing her face and she was just beautiful,” she said. “She had a white, pretty swimsuit on and she was glowing.”
They discussed how the water was getting “choppy”. Later that day, two detectives alert him that Rivera is missing.
“It was almost like a force majeure. I don’t know what it was, but I was literally pushed backwards. I just ran backwards, if you can imagine, just screaming and I went to the bathroom.” I slammed the door, I was on the floor and I had to collect myself,” she said.
Finding her daughter, she said, was “a kind of relief”.
Previtaire also thanked the explorers, describing them as “full of kindness”.
“If we can go back, we’ll hug a little harder,” Rivera’s younger sister, Naicella Rivera, told “GMA.”
Naya’s younger brother, Mychal, said in a statement: “One year without you, one year closer to when we will meet you again. Your endless energy lives on. May you rest so gracefully, Naya.”