It’s been six years since Glee star Cory Monteith passed away. The 31-year-old’s death was a heartbreaking shock for fans everywhere, but especially for his then-girlfriend, fellow Glee co-star, Lea Michele. The two had been dating for over a year when Monteith passed, but had known each other for four years in total. Grief is a complicated subject, and those close to tragedy deserve plenty of time to heal. But Lea Michelle’s tribute to Cory Montieth is incredibly moving and shows how far she’s come in her healing journey.
Michele and Monteith dated for just over a year back in 2012, up until Montieth’s death. On July 13, 2013, Monteith was found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver, and while no cause of death was immediately determined, the actor’s death was later ruled as an accidental overdose. Monteith’s passing was difficult for all of his Glee co-stars, and Michele in particular.
Now, six years later, Michele continues to honor her late boyfriend, and has done so with a lovely social media post on the anniversary of his passing. Alongside a gorgeous photo of the sun peeking through the clouds above the water, Michele wrote, "The light always remains," with a heart emoji. It can’t be easy for Michele to remember the painful death of her loved one, but she continues to see the light in the darkness, and that’s pretty extraordinary.
This recent post isn’t the only way Michele has honored Monteith since his passing. As PEOPLE reported, Michele has honored him every year since his death. In April 2016, she got a new tattoo to remember Monteith by — a tiny number "5" under her arm to remember her former love, as Monteith’s character on Glee, Finn Hudson, was a quarterback for his high school football team, and his jersey number was 5. "And one more.. for my quarterback.." Michele captioned the photo of her new ink back in 2016. When Glee said goodbye to Monteith’s character on Season 5 of the show, the episode was lovingly titled, "The Quarterback," so Michele’s tribute is especially fitting.
In 2016, she also revealed a second tattoo honoring Monteith on the cover of Women’s Health U.K.’s "Naked" edition. On her left hip, you can spot the word "Finn." While fans initially thought it was a new tattoo, Michele later took to Twitter to explain that she got it before Monteith’s passing. "Actually got that tattoo in December 2011!" she wrote. "Boy was that a fun night!" The actress also has a tattoo that says "If you say so," on her rib cage, which, according to The Today Show, was one of the last things Monteith said to her before he passed.
It’s lovely to see Michele continue to pay tribute to the late actor, even as she moves on with her life. She actually got married this year, tying the knot on March 9, 2019 to her boyfriend of two years, Zandy Reich. But even as years pass and life goes on, it’s clear Monteith will always hold a special place in her heart. That’s pretty freaking special if you ask me.
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