To call myself a “Gleek” might be a bit of an over-statement. A lot of different people suggested the show to me, and kept insisting that I would love it. Not only friends, but the media in general fell in love the show. Kids singing and dancing and going through puberty, I figured I could pass on it. But years after the phenomenon began I came to start watching Glee via Netflix instant streaming. I figured I would start catching up in the way of “Glee Sprees”.

So, about three years ago I started with season one. I loved that I could take Glee anywhere via the app on my phone. I was watching it constantly. I had a marathon in the living room at home, I was watching it on the laptop while working on the weekend and on my phone any chance I had. At some point, I stopped watching. I’m not sure why, but I started going through phases. I was hooked even if it was sporadic.

I started paying attention to the gossip columns to learn more about the cast of Glee. I soon saw all of the things that my friends had been telling me, and wished that I hadn’t rebelled the way I usually do when it comes to popular television. Typically I don’t follow trends or watch what everyone else is watching just because it’s the popular thing to do.

Yesterday, I woke up to the news of Cory Monteith’s death. I was shocked, and immediately Google searched his name to find that he had been found dead in his hotel room on Sunday. With no indication of foul play and an autopsy to be performed on Monday, there is still a lot unknown. I have been in the midst of another “Glee Spree” for the past few weeks, and had most recently watched the “Prom-a-Saurus” episode from season three.

One of my best friends called me today crying. She was afraid that I would think that she was being silly or irrational for breaking down over his death. No, she didn’t know Cory Monteith, but the character that he played on the show made a difference in her life. She was one of the many “Gleeks” that encouraged me to watch the show. She and a group of close friends would get together once a week to watch the show together. For her, Glee was more than just a television show, the characters created a sense of community each week.

That feeling is a tribute to not only the great writing on the show, but the actors that bring it to life. From what I’ve seen Cory Monteith’s character, Finn Hudson, was the heart and soul of the New Directions glee club; from what I have read Cory Monteith was the same to the cast of Glee. Although he was not recently working full-time on the show, he was making appearances regularly. The love story between Finn and Rachel, played by Lea Michele, was planned to continue.

It seems that in many ways his life imitated his art. Negative words are hard to find about the actor; it seems he beloved by cast, crew and cherished by fans. The relationship that began on-screen as “Finchel”, had recently blossomed into a real romance between Monteith and Michele. I can only imagine the tragedy that she must be experiencing. In the coming days, I’m sure we’ll all learn more about what lead to this untimely loss.

I may not be a full-on Gleek, but I have come to appreciate the show for more than its pure entertainment value. The messages of acceptance and love that are continually present in the show are not only touching, but they transcend into our daily lives.  Cory Monteith will be missed.