Anyone that knows me knows that I’m not a morning person. If you want my mind to function properly, you need to hit me up at night or even in the wee hours of the morning, before I ever make it to bed. Between 10pm and 1am you’re hitting the jackpot. With that being said, it’s no surprise that I was still awake Saturday night (or the early morning hours of Sunday) when news began to break that “Glee” star, Cory Monteith, had been confirmed dead in a Vancouver, Canada hotel room.
I’d just finished up chatting with my best friend in California and decided to take a final look at Twitter when I first saw Cory’s name gracing so many tweets and the trending section. I honestly thought it was another hoax. My mind couldn’t wrap around the idea that he could possibly be dead. There was no way I could just close the page and ignore what I was seeing. I had to investigate, and what I discovered left the feeling of a lead weight in my gut… Cory Monteith had in fact died.
I’m really not sure how long I sat trolling around, finding as much information as I could about what happened to Cory, what had been going on in the previous days, even if there were any “signs”. The next day I did much of the same as more and more information became available and as people that knew him began to share their thoughts and feelings.
Since then I have been trying to figure out what to say. I wanted to weigh in on the topic, but how? It’s not often that I find myself without words. Writing is how I deal with things and put them in perspective, yet I have been struggling to find the words now. All I know to say is – My heart hurts.
For some reason, learning of Cory’s death hit me hard. I can’t really say why. Yes, I’m a “Glee” fan. (I spent most of my time growing up involved in the arts with dance, show choir, and theatre. Naturally “Glee”, in turn, is something near and dear to my heart.) And I’ll freely admit that I was cheering on Finn and Rachel, hoping to see the two of them back together. The fact that Cory and Lea Michele, the actress that plays Rachel, was a real life couple just made it mean that much more. With “Glee” I found myself caring for those characters, because I knew those people. I could look at my high school yearbook and tell you which of my classmates matched with a character on the show. As a result of caring for those characters, I care about the actors bringing those characters to life.
I hoped that the results would be different. As horrible as it may sound, I really hoped that the coroner would find a cause of death that was not related to drugs or alcohol. I hated to think that he fell victim to what seems like a Hollywood curse. Cory is definitely not the first young actor to die too soon because of addiction, and, sadly, he probably won’t be the last. But one can always hope.
Some people have said that priorities are out of whack to be mourning Cory’s death when people die every day. Heroes die every day. Addicts die every day. And that’s true, but I don’t think it is wrong to mourn Cory’s death. Yes, he is talked about when others aren’t, but that’s because he’s a public figure. He’s a face that everyone knows, putting a recognizable face on an everyday problem.
Addiction is real. It’s all too common. And the fact of the matter is, the younger the addiction starts the harder it is to get over. I have friends that have suffered with addiction, and I know of others. It’s a battle. It’s an everyday battle with no real “cure”. What makes the difference, to me, is having a support system and having the determination to want to change their life.
I don’t know what happened with Cory that night in Vancouver. I don’t know why he did what he did. Was he trying to escape something? Was he just “having a good time”? Who knows? What I do know is that a talent young actor – not much younger than me – died alone in a hotel room. Everything that might’ve been for him died in that hotel room too.
No, Cory is not any different than any other addict. Cory is simply the face, the life, that we can recognize – that will remind us – of what addiction can destroy.
I mourn Cory Monteith’s death, just as I mourn the others that I may not know the names or faces of.
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