Her Glee alter ego gave him a fond farewell on a tribute episode on Thursday, and in real life, Lea Michele is slowly moving on from the pain of losing her boyfriend and costar, Cory Monteith, who died in July.
"It's getting a little easier," a source close to the star tells PEOPLE.
Michele, 27 – who posted a photo of herself with Monteith on Instagram while the episode aired – "still misses him every day," the source admits. "She talks about Cory all the time."
Glee said goodbye to Finn Hudson and Cory Monteith Thursday night with an hour that was very moving – how could it not be? – but also very kind.
Kind because a viewer's buttons were never pushed. Whatever you felt just seemed to come, scene by scene, as everyone found a way to articulate their grief. And, of course, to sing.
Monteith, who was only 31 when he died July 13 from a mixture of alcohol and heroin, had already shot appearances in the season's first two episodes – those, a salute to the Beatles, were re-edited leading up to last night's memorial. They constituted one of the most melancholy salutes to the Beatles I've ever heard, with Monteith's death coloring everything.
Grieving Glee fans will tune in Thursday seeking solace during the show's highly anticipated tribute episode memorializing the late Cory Monteith.
But one viewer is not expecting the show to bring him much closure.
Joe Monteith, Cory's estranged father, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview that he wakes up heartbroken every morning, missing his son and wishing he could have said goodbye.
"It’s just ripping my insides out and tearing me apart," the elder Monteith, 63, says tearfully.
Although Glee's Lea Michele admits it feels like "I've lost two people, Cory and Finn," the actress says the tribute episode to her on- and off-screen love Cory Monteith "was very therapeutic."
"We had a beautiful memorial for Cory in the auditorium, and some of the cast members sang and people spoke about him," a stoic Michele, 27, told TV Week Australia. "It only felt right that we would do the same thing for Finn."
But did the actress ever consider leaving the hit show after the tragic death of her former boyfriend, 31, in July?
Just call them beauty and the Beiste.
Dot-Marie Jones, who plays Coach Shannon Beiste on Glee, proposed to her longtime girlfriend Bridgett Casteen, The Advocate reports.
The actress, 49, popped the question on Friday while the couple was at Disneyland Resort's Sleeping Beauty Castle in Anaheim, Calif., for Gay Days Anaheim, a weekend event where more than 30,000 LGBT visitors and allies visit the park.
Glee's Cory Monteith tribute episode was "incredibly difficult" for the cast and crew and "very rough" for Lea Michele, says producer Ryan Murphy.
"People are still not over it. It is still really difficult," Murphy said Thursday. "I've never seen a crew that can't continue shooting because they left the room sobbing. ... What you're seeing is what they felt not just about Finn, but Cory."
Naya Rivera is certainly feeling Gleeful these days: She is engaged to rapper Big Sean!
The rep for the actress and PEOPLE StyleWatch Celeb Council Member has confirmed the engagement of the couple, who have been dating for about six months, reports E! News.
Rivera, 26, showed off her new sparkler from Big Sean, 25, at Latina magazine's Hollywood Hot List Party Oct. 3. Rivera dons the cover of the October issue.
Cory Monteith was legally drunk the night he died and his body was found near two champagne bottles and multiple glasses, authorities say.
A spoon with drug residue and a used hypodermic needle were also found near his body in his Vancouver Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel room, according to the final autopsy report released Wednesday.
The Glee star, 31, had an alcohol level of 0.13 percent, according to a toxicological analysis contained in the Sept. 16 British Columbia coroner's report.
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.
Late into the 65th annual Emmys ceremony Sunday on CBS, host Neil Patrick Harris announced: "No one in America is winning their Emmy office pool."
If you did happen to win, you should consider a career in statistical forecasting. The awards were all over the place.
Of the night's many surprises, the biggest was in the category of best actor. Academy voters for once decided not to give the prize to Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston – but instead of rewarding Mad Men's Jon Hamm, the perennial also-ran, they chose Jeff Daniels of HBO's The Newsroom. Perhaps they concluded that Hamm is already lousy with nominations, and handsome as the devil, and that should hold him. Daniels is a fine actor, as you'll discover if you catch just about any of his many performances of the past three decades, but The Newsroom's first season was a pounding surf of angry, righteous yammering. Oh well.
Here's what else the Emmys got right and wrong: