It seems like the fastest, and somehow slowest year, did we blink and suddenly July 13th is here, or did it slowly creep up behind us and painfully show up in our faces? It is the most unkind reminder of a life cut too short, of a light dimmed too soon.
I don’t think I’ve stopped saying goodbye to Cory, maybe I never will, although goodbye was too hard a word to bare, so I say goodnight. Goodnight brings a hope of tomorrow, and though his body is gone in a physical sense, I think Cory is here, there, everywhere, in each of us, every day, how could he not be?
I can still remember every detail surrounding the moment I read that first headline…”Glee Star Cory Monteith found dead in Canada hotel room’. I shut my laptop and tried to focus on anything else but that, and it seemed for a moment, that the world was joining me in doing the same. For one moment there were no other headlines, no other news stories…for one moment the truth of that statement was too hard for anyone to handle. Life moves forth, and the headlines continued to break, that moment gone forever, the simple comfort of still living in a world with Cory’s smile left our spirits that day, in the worst possible way.
Speculation began immediately about the cause of his death, we all saw it unfold and I don’t think that’s what I want to talk about today. I think I want to say this, and only this: Addiction isn’t an easy thing to ask for help for, addiction hides in the darkest parts of your mind and rears it’s ugly head in the first second of vulnerability that you show. If you have something in your life that is toxic and you keep falling victim to it, please ask for help, and if that doesn’t work, ask again…again…and again. I did, I made a life change the day we lost our Cory, I truly believe he saved my life.
The members of Cory’s life began to speak, and each time our hearts collectively broke a little more, from Mark’s simple “no…” to his favorite hockey team, the Canucks posting a photo of him at a game, his loss was felt all over the world. The tweet we all sort of waited for came in the form of a smiling photo, one Lea kept personally for the two of them, and a sweet thanks for the support she’d been given since his untimely death. I haven’t been able to look at that tweet again for months, it’s still just not fair. The tweets from his fans spoke just as loudly, there wasn’t a person who got to experience Cory’s light in some way, that wasn’t painfully affected by the darkness that we all felt on a day in the middle of summer, a day with lots of sunshine and warmth.
We’ve heard songs from his cast mates, seen photo montages from his friends, we sat together somehow through the painful Goodbye episode to Finn Hudson on Glee. We watched award shows honor our hero during times we’d usually look for his smiling face in the crowd, and we also experienced his loss ourselves, we cried for days, we tried to watch old episodes of Glee, we made mix CD’s with all of his songs to listen to in the car, we released balloons in his honor and had makeshift memorials ourselves. We fell apart and somehow back together, along with those who knew him closely, perhaps because Cory’s heart invited everyone in, even if we never got to watch a movie with him, or walk through a crowded street laughing together, we felt like we had.
So what do we do now, now that tomorrow marks a year without our Cory? We smile at the life he lived, we listen to the songs he sang, we watch the episodes of Glee that warm our heart with Finn Hudson, and the movies he made where we saw different sides of his incredible talent. We cry, Lord knows I’ve been crying through writing this piece, and we try to be strong. We unite together, be it physically or mentally, and we look up at the sky, we give him a smile, and we love. We love in honor of the man who made us all want to be a better version of ourselves. We just love.
I love you Cory, I miss you more than that, and I am incredibly thankful for the way that you existed, there will never be enough words to describe the impact that you had on my life.