Cory Monteith Tribute on Glee: Preview

09/26/2013 at 06:00 PM EDT

Cory Monteith Tribute on Glee: Preview
Courtesy Ryan Murphy

Lea Michele

Lea Michele

Glee fans are likely to get choked up over a new promotional photo for the upcoming season, which premieres Thursday.

"The hardest word to say is 'goodbye,' " says the caption alongside a close-up black and white picture of Cory Monteith.

Screenwriter Ryan Murphy Tweeted the image on Thursday, giving a first look into the new season without Monteith, though the show will feature a tribute episode.

Audiences are still getting used to the idea of Monteith's absence, as is the Glee cast, Jane Lynch told PEOPLE recently.

"I think that grieving comes in waves," she said. Lynch added that her heart goes out to Monteith's girlfriend and costar, Lea Michele.

"I know it's just been brutal for her," she said. "I never lost a boyfriend when I was 26 years old."

Catch the Glee premiere – "Love Love Love" – at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.

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