'Glee's' Lea Michele talks Cory Monteith and Kate Hudson helping her with her grief on 'Ellen'
"Glee" star Lea Michele stops by "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" Thursday (Dec. 12), where she talks about her first solo album and performs a song from it, but also, of course, Ellen asks her how she's doing after losing boyfriend Cory Monteith earlier this year.
"I'm doing well. It's certainly been a pretty rough year, but I've been surrounded by such great people, such great family," says Michele.
She adds that actress Kate Hudson, who has guest-starred on "Glee," was such a tremendous help to her when it first happened.
"[Kate] was so wonderful to basically give me her home, to myself and my family. It was so wonderful to have a safe place to process and have a minute to breathe before getting back to my house, which has a lot of memories and stuff," says Michele. "Being some place else to have a moment, is really ... to have that time at her home to really be in private with this for a moment ... I'm so thankful to her."
The singer/actress also says that it was her decision to go back to work, saying that working not only helped her, but it wasn't any harder than being at home alone with her grief.
"['Glee' creator] Ryan Murphy was so amazing, he came to Kate's house and he said, 'What do you want to do? Whatever you want to do, we'll do.' And I said, 'We have to go back to work. We have to,'" recalls Michele.
"They're my family. What people don't understand is that going to work is no harder than being at home and being in the house and opening up a closet and seeing a pair of shoes," she continues. "Grief comes with you every day, whatever you're doing, when there's great moments, when there are hard moments. For me, I'd rather be at work with the people that I love that are going through the same thing. It obviously has its own triggers, but at the end of the day, I feel so safe there and, like I said, they're my family."
And while the grief is still an on-going process, Michele says that she's just trying to rise up and do her best to honor Monteith's memory.
"I really feel like I'm still trying to figure out all of this. ... My mom has experienced a lot of loss in her life and she told me there's an empowerment that comes with grief, at some point you find it. It's very hard, but you will find it," says Michele. "At a certain point, you can choose to fall from this or you can choose to rise. ... I'm just trying to do my best for him because I know that's what he would've wanted. Hopefully make something positive for where I go for the rest of my life."
"I literally lived every day of my life feeling like the luckiest girl, he was just the greatest man," she concludes.
Below, watch Michele talk about her new album, "Louder," which drops on March 4, 2014. She calls it a "very personal" project.