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Steph Martin

Stephanie Martin, a writer and editor in Colorado, has two teenage daughters.

In the News

New York—One year after Glee actor Cory Monteith died of a drug overdose, his mom said she’s finally “beginning to accept it.”

Calling her son’s death “horrendous,” Ann McGregor said she couldn’t even look at a picture of him until a few days ago. And she hasn’t watched the Glee tribute to her son, who played athlete-singer Finn Hudson. But she has found comfort by communicating with Monteith’s on-screen and off-screen girlfriend, Lea Michelle. “I see the sadness,” McGregor said. “I know her pain.”

Monteith, who died at age 31 from a lethal mixture of heroin and alcohol, said he began using drugs at age 13. By age 15, his mom said he “did a code blue.” At that point, she said she realized “I’m not going to have him my entire life.”

McGregor said her son had many “emotional things he was trying to figure out. A lot of it was he really wanted a relationship with his [estranged] father.” She added, “I think when a child gets invalidated, they keep reaching even harder. They want to find out why.”

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Although Monteith did try several stints in rehab, he kept returning to drugs. McGregor said she doesn’t have answers for people facing similar situations with their loved ones. “I don’t think we have power to change the choices they’re making,” she said of addicts.

When asked if she blamed Hollywood for her son’s death, McGregor said, “I don’t think blame is a good thing to do. No, that was his choice.”

Michelle, 27, tweeted a tribute to Monteith on the anniversary of his death. But friends say she’s “finally moving on,” vacationing in Italy with her new boyfriend. “She grieved longer than anyone expected,” said one source.

Sources: abcnews.go.com, people.com, bostonherald.com

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Discussion Questions for Student Small Groups

Why does the grieving process vary so much from one person to the next? What expectations does society have of people who are grieving—and of how long it’s okay to actively mourn someone’s death?

What’s the most touching or most effective way that someone has comforted you during a tough time? How do you try to help other people who are mourning?

Does sharing your pain with someone else usually ease it or magnify it? Explain. How can a support system make grief more manageable for you in the future?

How do Monteith’s struggles affect your views about addiction—or your feelings toward addicts? Do you think you can prevent something like that from taking over your own life, or those of your friends? Why or why not?

Do you agree with McGregor that the loved ones of addicts are helpless? When people are making bad choices of any kind, is it best to intervene or to let them face the negative consequences? Explain.

Think of a choice you made and later regretted: Did anyone try to warn you ahead of time? If so, why didn’t you listen? What role does pride play in our refusal to heed advice?

What lessons have you learned from your past mistakes? from the mistakes of other people? How can you offer people godly counsel without seeming superior to them?

What purpose or meaning do you think God wants us to derive from tough times and grief? What impact might the mourning process have on our faith? on our relationship with other Christians?

How can you ensure that times of mourning lead to times of healing? When might mourning lead to something even better than what you lost?

Scripture links: 2 Samuel 1:1-16; Job 42:10-17; Psalm 119:49-50; John 19:25-27; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7; and Revelation 21:4.

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