Naya Rivera’s ‘If I Die Young’ Brings Comfort to Some Fans But Others Beg Twitter to Stop Posting It
Now that it’s certain the remains found in Lake Piru in California’s Ventura County are those of actor Naya Rivera, it’s difficult for many of her fans to hear her rendition of “If I Die Young.”
And today, “If I Die Young” is now a song of mourning for the artist who died at 33.
Rivera sang ‘If I Die Young’ for Corey Monteith on ‘Glee’
After it was confirmed that the body found in Lake Piro was indeed that of Rivera, her performance of the song, “If I Die Young” began trending on Twitter.
Rivera performed the song on Glee, the series in which she co-starred with Corey Monteith, in his memory (and his character, Finn), after his 2013 death. In the scene, Rivera says, “Okay, I know that Finn had his doubts about God but I am convinced that squishy teats is up in heaven right now…”
The song’s lyrics are almost painful to bear in light of how young Rivera was at her own death, and its reference to a death in water. “If I die young bury me in satin / Lay me down on a bed of roses / Sink me in the river at dawn / Send me away with the words of a love song.”
Rivera was declared dead on the anniversary of Monteith’s death
The singer’s remains were found five days after she had set out to enjoy a day on Lake Piro with her four-year-old son, Josey. She was recovered, coincidentally, on the anniversary of Monteith’s passing.
Rivera wrote about Monteith’s death in her 2016 book, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up. She learned of her co-star’s death from Big Sean, her boyfriend at the time.
“I was shocked, and made him repeat it several times before it sunk in,” she said in her memoir.
According to Rivera, the cast was asked to film an episode in memory of Monteith.
“We barely got a moment to breathe at all,” she wrote. “Everything just happened so fast— after one take several of us were bawling and trying to pull ourselves together when someone popped their head in the room and said, ‘At least you guys are acting, right? It’s not like it’s real life. Great job!’”
Her fans’ different reactions to the song
This has been an emotional week for Rivera’s fans. The news of her disappearance, the holding out for hope that she might still be alive, and then learning that she did not make it out of that lake have all made for a time of intense grief.
One fan tweeted, “The fact that Naya Rivera’s best performance on Glee was “If I Die Young” for Cory Monteith’s death and she ended up dying young and her body was discovered on the anniversary of Cory’s death is shattering my heart.”
Another posted, “Naya Rivera singing “If i die young” during the Finn Hudson tribute special episode… This voice, those lyrics… it give me chills…”
However, other fans find the song just makes this moment worse and feel dwelling on the video of her performance of the ballad just causes more distress.
“please dont post naya singing “if i die young,” said a fan on Twitter. “i understand that it was a tribute to cory, and may resonate with and comfort so many right now, but it truly hurts to see on twitter right now for a lot of us. please be considerate.”
“PLEASE! dont use the ‘if i die young’ video naya was in pain during that shoot and i feel like we should be posting naya at her best,” tweeted another fan.