The thing about saying goodbye is that it’s a really heart-wrenching thing to do.
I never say “goodbye”. I say “see ya later,” “ciao,” “I love you,” or something of that variant. I never like to say “goodbye”. It implies a permanence. I prefer to hope that I will see the person again.
Of course, I said “goodbye” several times in the course of my life to great-grandparents, to grandparents, and (the hardest one) to my mother when I saw her the last time before she died of cancer.
Shortly after his death, I said my “goodbye” to Cory Monteith. His life was short and imperfect with a tragic end but a legacy that will inspire love. It is my hope that Cory will be remembered for the legacy of love and joy over the demons of his death.
Now, though, it is time to say another goodbye to Finn Hudson.
Tonight, at 9pm, I will switch over to FOX to watch his friends and family bid both Finn Hudson and Cory Monteith goodbye. I will be working, as I always do at this time, to recap the events of the episode “The Quarterback” for my job. This will not, however, be like every other time that I have done so.
I will also have by me a box of tissues and a bottle of wine. I have a feeling that I will need both during this episode.
I admired Cory as an actor and as a person. I did not, however, know Cory. I never met him in my life. He was an actor who I greatly and utterly admired for his kind heart, acting skill, and his presence. He seemed like a man that I would have very much like to met.
Finn Hudson, however, I knew. He was a character that I adored. He had faults. He had flaws. He has triumphs. He has kindness. He got angry. He felt joy. He brought people together. He pushed them away. He loved glee club. He wanted to popular. He was not perfect and he never wanted to be perfect.
He was just who he was. He was who we all are: a person trying to figure out their path in life while also trying to be a good person. He struggled with both but ultimately I think he succeeded.
I said goodbye to the actor. Now it’s time for all of us to say goodbye to, what will be, his best known character. It will be mourning all over again for a fictional person whose real-life counterpart has died. Out of the two, however, I can say that I knew the character better than the actor.
It will hurt tonight and I will most definitely cry. I will mourn for Finn this time (along with mourning for Cory). We will watch the people who know both the character and the person release their grief and eulogize both onscreen for us.
Tonight, the Glee family and fandom will be united in mourning someone who was our metaphorical quarterback. We will mourn for the character who gave the show a lot of heart. It will be painful. It will be ugly. It will also be cathartic and beautiful. We will give ourselves permission to let out the last bits of sadness that affect us as fans and, hopefully, the Glee cast will continue on mourning for a fallen friend, brother, and lover with this as another starting point.
So goodbye, Finn Hudson, you taught me a lot. You were a good man. You were my favorite character on Glee.
You will be missed.
TOMORROW: I will put up my thoughts on the episode then along with a link to my recap. I also did a Buzzfeed post regarding what I learned from Finn.