When I heard that Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson on the Fox hit Glee, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room at the age of 31, my heart just broke. Even weeks later, I still find myself with a heavy heart over someone I never knew – I mean, I only ever watched the show once or twice. But it is clear in the clips and stories about Cory that he was a sweetheart, and he was in pain, and that just makes me so sad.
After untimely deaths, we all want to know: why did they have to go so soon? How life and death are handed out by the powers that be is a total mystery. But celebrity deaths such as Cory’s carry a lot of weight in the media. The toll of celebrity addiction – to street drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, or a combination – is long and mournful. Just think of the last few years – Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, and Heath Ledger. And of course there are the classic cases of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.
Cory’s death stood out for me because it came as such a surprise. Although he’d been in rehab recently, his clean-cut, boy-next-door image for so long hid that he was hurting inside. It reminded me of my own struggle with addiction to alcohol and food (yes, it’s possible to kill yourself with overeating as well). On the outside, I was a fun-loving college girl who was always up for a midnight pizza and drinks on a weekday afternoon.
But inside I was killing myself.
How easily I could have fallen victim, as Cory did.
This media attention is perhaps the only silver lining in a horrible tragedy. I have to trust and hope that when someone falls from grace so publicly, some others are saved because it wakes them up. Healing is possible. Help is out there – I got it myself, and I am 25 years sober and healthy. I have made it my life’s mission to share this hope; it makes my life and sobriety that much richer. If Cory’s death can do any good, it is that people will see that destructive behavior has consequences, and they will find help.
The older I get the more I understand that my 25 years of sobriety is not only a gift, but one that I do not and will not take for granted. I am so blessed. Gratitude gets me going each morning, and at the end of every day I thank the Uni-verse for another day on planet earth. This peace and thankfulness is what I wish for everyone, addict or not.
I grieve for Cory because he represents all the lives we have lost and continue to lose. But I also look to his story with the belief that his darkest moment will give some hope to others.
And Cory wherever you are, I trust you are at peace…
And still, you are missed.
Weight Release & Body Image Expert Laura Fenamore supports women around the world to love who they see in the mirror. Having overcome her own battle with addiction, obesity, and eating disorders, Laura released 100 pounds 25 years ago. She has chronicled this journey in her new book, Weightless: The Be Good To Yourself Diet. Learn more about Laura’s programs, or invite her to speak by visiting her website at OnePinky.com , her Facebook Pages and connect with Laura on Twitter .