- Be nice to everyone
- Be true to yourself and your values
- Surround yourself with positive, good people
- You can still be REALLY fun when you’re sober
- Intelligence isn’t always about education
- Famous people like to hear the truth (ok, maybe most of the time)
- Spend your time doing what you love and enjoy doing
- A great hug is underrated
- Some men DO really like cats
- Be thankful and appreciate every moment
I struggled with whether or not to write something about Cory’s tragic passing; to say that his death came as a shock to me is a total understatement. Though I hadn’t spent time with him in over a year, at one point I did see him often and was always greeted with a smile and a GIGANTIC HUG. At the time, I would laugh about his hugs to our friends and jokingly refer to them as “borderline inappropriate” because they were those deep, close hugs where someone literally wraps their arms around you and your entire body, and they lasted just a tad too long (but hey, I wasn’t complaining). It’s kind of crazy to think how happy I’d be to have one of those hugs right now, and that’s just it. Cory was the kind of person who you instantly felt comfortable around and wanted to spill all of your secrets to. It’s kind of unreal to meet a person like that even once or twice in your life, which is why he’ll always have a special place in my heart. Cory’s laugh was contagious and it was very difficult to not smile and giggle when he was around. He was kind, giving, and compassionate toward others, which are qualities that are sometimes rare here in Hollywood.
Cory was also the kind of person who didn’t cut the line at the Empire State Building…I’ll never forget that one. He told me about how, when Glee first started airing, he was in New York and really wanted to go to the top of the iconic building…why not, right? He got into line and a guard came up to him and said “hey man, I know who you are…you don’t have to wait in line.” Cory politely declined. “What?!” I asked as he’s telling me this story. “I mean…lines suck.” He then told me “I don’t want to be THAT guy. I want to be treated just like everyone else…but THAT is when I knew things in my life were about to change…” He, of course, was referring to fame – a completely foreign and somewhat scary concept to him.
One of my favorite memories of Cory is kind of a silly one, but it’s important and meaningful to me. A few of us were hanging out by his pool and I told a funny story that kind of just fell flat (hey, it happens to everyone). I could tell that my face was turning a little red and I felt stupid. I looked around for some assistance and then I locked eyes with Cory. He smiled at me and said, “I TOTALLY get it.” It’s small but it’s one of the little things that good people do for others. THAT is the kind of person Cory Monteith was. He had his demons, he tried to fight them and, sadly, he lost, but I will always remember Cory for saving me from embarrassment and, of course, a few other things: our mutual hatred of country music, his Twitter obsession (FANS: he DID read all your tweets, by the way), our talks/his advice on what I want to do with my life and, lastly, the shockingly honest and vulnerable way he embraced his sobriety for so many years. For someone with that many demons, it couldn’t have been easy; I admire him for that.
If you finish reading this post and take away even just ONE insight on Cory, I ask you to take this: please don’t remember him for being another victim of “Hollywood, fame and fortune.” One, because that was his worst nightmare and two, because Cory isn’t a victim at all. Cory achieved almost everything he ever wanted out of life and, as sad as I am that he passed at such a young age, I at least take some comfort in that fact. Rest in peace, Cory. You will be desperately missed.
To make a donation in Cory’s honor, you can visit Project Limelight, a charity that he supported for many years.