Monday, July 15, 2013

RIP Cory Monteith 1982 - 2013

As we all know by now, Cory Monteith died Saturday. He was found in his room by staff at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in downtown Vancouver.

That's about 20 minutes away from where I live so I went by there today to take a look at a growing memorial to the actor. Since his death his fans have been leaving flowers, notes, photos and candles outside the hotel to express their grief and sadness. While there I took some photos...

I gotta say, I was very moved by what I saw there. There are many bouquets of beautiful flowers laid on the sidewalk just outside the hotel lobby. Some of the bouquets have cards and notes with handwritten messages to Monteith's family, friends and to his memory. There are many pictures of Cory and his girlfriend/costar Lea Michele accompanying the notes left by fans.
                                     
I spent some time at the memorial and read most of the cards and notes. They contain some very touching words and heartfelt sentiment from Monteith's fans. Then I stood back and took in the whole scene. I saw people come by to place flower bouquets and pay their respects. No surprise, reporters and camera men were on scene to cover the tragic death of this young guy.
                                     
As I stood there I thought about the times I've read or watched interviews with Cory Monteith. Not only did he seem like a totally decent guy, but I was always impressed with his openness about his nearly lifelong battle with addiction. From the age of 12, he said he used drugs and alcohol to cope with difficulty in his life. As he had spent much time in Vancouver, I understand he entered AA at a young age and worked hard to beat his addictions.

I thought about how much he must have suffered the twists and turns of addiction. I thought about what I know about that kind of suffering... how it has affected my friends, how it has invaded my family and caused death... just how it has affected my life and so many others. I thought about all these things.           
                                 
I walked past Cory Monteith one evening, about a year and half ago. He was jaywalking on Davie Street and then stepped up onto the curb right beside where I was. Our eyes met for a second and I realized it was that guy I had watched so many times on Glee. That was it. No further interaction of any kind. I watched him walk down Davie toward Granville Street in the city's nightclub district. I remember immediately wondering if he was going out drinking or if he was still sober.

Although the city coroner hasn't yet issued a cause of death, there is so much speculation that his death was caused by an overdose. But I suppose it doesn't matter. What does matter though is that there has been the tragic loss of a young man's life, a very talented guy who sang and danced. And we've all done that in front of the bathroom mirror at one time or another, so maybe that's one reason why we related so easily to him.
                                            
My hope now is that anyone living with an addiction asks for the help they need to overcome it and regain good health. We have nothing without our health. That's what I've been thinking about for much of the day.

As I write this I'm listening to my Glee CD, "The Power of Madonna". It has recordings from the "Madonna" episode of Glee which I absolutely loved. I mean come on, Sue Sylvester's "Vogue" is sure to go down in ancient history as one of the best things ever!

And, of course, Cory Monteith in his duet mashup with Lea Michele performing Borderline/Open Your Heart. What a great, fun performance they did together. No wonder they fell in love!

In the words of ABBA, "Thank You for The Music", Cory Monteith.

Rest in peace and may time give the gift of healing to your family, friends and fans.

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