“Hey you. 10 years,” she wrote via Instagram on Thursday, July 13. “It feels like only yesterday that you were here and yet a million years ago all at the same time. I hold all of our memories in my heart where they will stay safe and never forgotten.”
Michele continued: “We miss you every day and will never forget the light you to brought to us all. I miss you big guy. I hope you found Taylor up there and are playing the drums together. 🤍.”
Her tribute seemingly referred to late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died in March 2022 while the band was on tour in Colombia. He was 50 years old.
Monteith, for his part, was 31 when he died of an accidental mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol in July 2013. He was dating Michele, whom he met in 2009 while filming Glee, at the time of his death. (The former couple portrayed Rachel Berry and Finn Hudson on the Fox hit.)
One year after Monteith’s death rocked Hollywood, Michele opened up about the plans they had for the future. “We talked about a lot of things. We talked about children and what we would look like when we grew old, and who would be fat and how we would stay thin,” she told Glamour UK in 2014. “We talked about where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. We were done. We were it.”
She added: “When you’re at that place in your life with someone, you talk about everything. But today I feel like I was given the best part of Cory, and I’m thankful for that.”
Michele has since moved on with husband Zandy Reich, whom she wed in 2019, but she has consistently honored her ex each year since he passed away. While revisiting Glee‘s pilot episode with former costars Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz, the actress noted that she felt overwhelmed with emotion as she watched Monteith on screen.
“The moments that made me so emotional were not anything that ever has made me emotional before about the show,” she said on a January 2020 episode of the “Showmance” podcast. “One of them was when [Finn] took [Artie] out of the Porta Potty. There were so many moments that you see the whole arc of a character for a whole season in one moment. Him taking you out of the bathroom, and you see Finn’s heart. Oh, my God.”
Michele and Rivera had their ups and downs on set, but the Tony nominee publicly shared her condolences after Rivera’s sudden death. She honored both Rivera and Monteith by uploading black-and-white photos via Instagram in July 2020.
Though the cast has experienced hardship in the public eye, Ushkowitz and McHale exclusively told Us Weekly that the loss of Rivera brought the group closer together.
“Everyone was so emotionally raw and just sort of like, ‘How is this happening? Why is this happening?’ Let’s talk about it,'” McHale recalled in November 2022. “Let’s talk about everything. … It was really nice that everybody could find a space to feel comfortable and open and trusting enough to do that.”
Ushkowitz remembered a similar feeling after Monteith died. “But we were still doing the show [then]. … Like Kevin said, after Naya passed, it was like we had a lot of space away from the show and a lot of time to process, and a lot of people had time to actually sit with their feelings,” she told Us. “And I think that was also really good for us because we had had the time to reflect.”