As the cast of "Glee" prepares to get together for the first time since the death of Cory Monteith, the late actor's co-stars continue to share their memories of their friend. The latest is Jenna Ushkowitz, who has portrayed Tina Cohen-Chang on the show since its debut in 2009.
Under a photo of the smiling cast posted on her Instagram account, Ushkowitz, 27, wrote, "I am so grateful that 'Glee' brought this group of extraordinary individuals together to form a family. I was lucky enough to closely experience the love and light that Cory shared with the world, as well as having the privilege of traveling down the road together on a once in a lifetime journey."
Monteith was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room last week after succumbing to what the British Columbia Coroners Service called "a mixed drug toxicity involving heroin and alcohol."
"Cory always reminded me to be gracious, kind and open, and he will leave a mark in my heart forever," she continued. "Thank you everyone for your constant support and love while we mourn the loss of our dear friend, and continued support to Cory's family, and to Lea."
A week after his death, "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy finally broke his silence last week. "You either deal with it head-on or you just disappear until January or February, and I think that's not what people need right now from a position of leadership," Murphy said at Comic-Con of plans to have the third episode of the upcoming season dedicated to Monteith's athlete-turned-Gleek Finn Hudson.
"We decided that, but to reiterate it, I don't want anything to feel rushed and I feel like that's why the third episode we're going to take a long hiatus so that people can continue to feel taken care of and just pause and get the help that they need and not feel like we have to be rushing back."
A memorial for Monteith will reportedly be held at the Paramount lot in Los Angeles in the next week. Many of Monteith's former co-stars have paid tribute to their friend, including Chord Overstreet, Matthew Morrison, Cheyenne Jackson , Dianna Agron and Jane Lynch .
The "Glee" cast and crew will head back to work soon to shoot the first episodes of the season with the blessing of Monteith's on-screen and off-screen girlfriend, Lea Michele. The show's premiere date has been pushed to September 26, a week later than it was originally intended.