By Christie D'Zurilla
5:49 PM CST, December 12, 2013
Lea Michele has opened up about what her life has been like since the death of her beau and "Glee" costar Cory Monteith from an accidental drug and alcohol overdose in July.
In an interview airing Thursday on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," without specifically mentioning Monteith's passing, DeGeneres and Michele launched into a discussion of what had been going on in the actress' life, starting with how "Glee" guest star Kate Hudson was such a good friend in the days immediately following the death.
"She was so wonderful to basically give me her home to myself and my family," the 27-year-old said. "It was so helpful to just basically have a safe place to process and just have a minute to breathe before getting back to my house, which has a lot of memories."
All that after there were rumors that Michele and Hudson hadn't gotten along on set -- rumors Michele debunked.
"Glee" honcho Ryan Murphy visited Michele at the hideaway, and they decided together when it was time for everyone to get back to work on the show.
"What people also don't understand," Michele told DeGeneres, "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 ...
"Grief goes with you every day, whatever you're doing, when there's great moments, when there's hard moments, so I'd rather for me be at work with the people that I love that are going through the same thing. ... At the end of the day, I feel so safe there."
And safety is important, as she's still processing what happened, and plotting a course forward in life.
"I really feel like I'm still trying to figure out all of this. It's been only a few months. But my mom has experienced a lot of loss in her life, and she told me at one point that there is an empowerment that comes with grief. At some point you find it. It's very hard, but you will find it and I think that 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 because I know that's what he would have wanted."
Monteith made the "Ellen" show a special place for the couple when he used it to publicly declare his love for Michele. The couple had been trying to keep their relationship off the radar until that point.
"It's one of my favorite memories," Michele said. "I remember when he came home that night, he kind of puffed out his chest, and he was like, 'I talked about you on "Ellen" today,' and I was so happy. He's such a private person, and I literally lived every day of my life feeling like the luckiest girl in the whole world."
Michele is doing the rounds to promote her new single, "Cannonball," from her upcoming solo album. See more of the interview above.
Incidentally, Twitter's "Golden Tweet" of 2013 -- the missive that got the highest number of retweets on the microblogging service -- was announced Thursday. It was Michele's first tweet about Monteith after his death, and was retweeted more than 408,000 times at its peak, according to Time.
"Thank you all for helping me through this time with your enormous love & support," Michele wrote, along with sending a picture of the two of them. "Cory will forever be in my heart."
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