As his message came to a close, Sean admitted that he was still coming to terms with the loss of Rivera. “I’m still grieving and in shock, I can’t believe this is real. I’m praying for you and your family," he continued, adding that he know Rivera is "watching over them and protecting them."
"Rest In Peace Naya 💙🙏🏾,” he wrote.
In addition to sharing a glamorous black-and-white photograph of Rivera as part of his tribute, Sean also included a photograph of Rivera and her son together, locked in a loving embrace.
Rivera and Sean began their romance in April 2013, and the pair got engaged that October. However, in April 2014, Big Sean broke off the engagement, saying that it was a “difficult decision.”
“Sean wishes Naya nothing but the best and it is still his hope that they can continue to work through their issues privately,” his rep told PEOPLE at the time.
Three months later, Rivera announced she had tied the knot with Ryan Dorsey, whom she finalized her divorce from in June 2018. The pair welcomed their son Josey in 2015.
Authorities said on Monday that they believe Rivera died saving Josey.
"We know from speaking with her son, that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey," Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said at a news conference. "It was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water."
"She mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself," Ayub added.
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