Lea Michele shows enduring strength as 'Glee' cast honors Cory Monteith
The Glee cast and crew mourned their friend Cory Monteith at a memorial service Thursday, where they shared "memories and music in an emotional celebration of [his] life," according to a statement from Twentieth Century Fox. The venue itself—Paramount Studios—brought added emotion to the tribute; it's where the cast films the show's auditorium scenes.
"They were somber," a source told People magazine of the 150 or so attendees. "There were a lot of production staff and crew too and most everyone was dressed in black." Most of the mourners also wore black ribbons in Monteith's honor.
Among the gathered castmates, Lea Michele inarguably bears the greatest burden of grief. After all, she lost not just a dear friend, but the love of her life. Yet she's shown remarkable strength in the weeks since Monteith was found dead of a drug overdose in a Vancouver hotel room.
According to some reports, Michele has been grieving so deeply that she's experienced anxiety attacks and has kept her distance from castmates. Yet she has still managed to help make decisions that affect her colleagues, urging Glee creator Ryan Murphy to resume production, and taking the lead in planning the memorial service where the group could remember their friend together. "I’ve never, ever met a 26-year-old girl or boy who’s capable of doing what she’s done in the past week," Murphy toldTVLine about Michele.
After the service, Kevin McHale, Dianna Agron, Darren Criss, Jenna Ushkowitz, Harry Shum Jr., Vanessa Lengies, and Jacob Artist were spotted having lunch at A.O.C. restaurant. Since Monteith's death, many of his castmates have expressed their sadness over Twitter. And over the last few days, even more have tweeted about their grief and their healing process.
"I'll never forget all the laughs we shared or the faces we made after awkward interview questions," Colfer said in an Instagram message. "Love and miss you, buddy."
"Cory always reminded me to be gracious, kind and open, and he will leave a mark in my heart forever," Ushkowitz wrote on Instagram. "Thank you everyone for your constant support and love while we mourn the loss of our dear friend, and continued support to Cory's family, and to Lea."
And Iqbal Theba, who plays the school principle, chose to communicate his feelings by tweeting this image from the service.
Clearly, Cory will be deeply missed.
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.