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On July 13th, 2013, Glee fans were shaken to discover that Cory Monteith had passed away of a heroin overdose. The young actor and singer was 31 at the time of death. Five years later, it's still difficult to process. The talented performer still had many years left in him, and today, his untimely passing has been made even more difficult as we have learned how Ann McGregor, Cory Monteith's mother, discovered the horrendous news. McGregor reportedly first heard about her son's death from Lea Michele, Monteith's co-star and girlfriend for over a year. Here's how Ann McGregor explained the chilling call she received from the grieving actress moments before she was told the news about her belated son.
I got a call from Lea and she was screaming on the phone. She was yelling, 'Is it true, is it true about Cory?' And I said, 'What about Cory?' I had heard nothing. And then police knocked on my front door.
As she later explained, Ann McGregor soon fell into a "state of numbness," where she "just shut off all emotions" and became indifferent to everything that happened around her. This tragic recounting was told to People in a piece that ran around the anniversary of Monteith's death. Of course, there's no way you can truly prepare for news that devastating, and Ann McGregor admits that it took her weeks before she truly processed what happened. But she didn't doubt its validity. Even when McGregor claims she could lie to herself and believe her son was alive, she knew that wasn't true.
I knew it was real, but there were times when I could lie to myself and say, 'He's in L.A., he'll call me soon.' I'm still always hanging on edge. When you lose someone who is such a big part of you, you lose all purpose for living.
What made Cory Monteith's death even more devastating was knowing his future plans. As Ann McGregor admits, her adult son was planning ahead, thinking about what he wanted to do next after his contract with Glee came to a close. He was renting an apartment in Vancouver, and he planned to move into it after his hit Fox series wrapped its tenure, and he wanted to have a wife and kids and start a family. McGregor believes her son would've been "a beautiful father," and she contends that he accomplished a great deal in his young life.
There's no denying that Cory Monteith's passing is just as tragic now as it was when he left this world five years ago. Since his death, Ann McGregor has continued to advocate for some of her son's passions, including Project Limelight, a non-profit, free performing art program for young individuals. She is also working on his behalf with St. James Music Academy, which provides classic musical education for at-risk children, as well as Amber Academy, which works to empower young adults through the power of fine arts. And while Monteith isn't with us anymore, McGregor believes his spirit still lives on in the hearts of many, including her own.