My family is close, but I hadn't really heard from any of my younger nieces or cousins about how they were feeling about the death of 'Glee' star, Cory Monteith.  But this afternoon, I read what one of them is feeling now that the autopsy results are out.

This particular cousin is in her early teens, and she posted on her Facebook page that she just didn't want his death to be due to drugs.  She said it depressed her.  I know her mom, a cousin a grew up with, would say all the right things, but I wanted her to know how special she is to me, so I replied:

 

"Babe, he had a problem, but chose not to find a way out.  So many people I know have found a way out of addiction.  It's not easy, and it's a lifelong struggle.  Losing anyone because of a force they can't control is sad.  But hopefully you'll see how even someone with seemingly everything to live for, can lose everything because of addiction.  With alcohol, moderation is always the key.  Friends will urge you to drink until you drop.  These are not friends.  Will they take you to the hospital if something goes wrong, or will they do nothing because they don't want to get into trouble?  Friends will say, smoke or snort this, it's fun.  Why would they want to lead you down the road to being hopelessly addicted like Cory?  I was no angel when I was young, and only God got me through a lot of "fun times".  Be mindful of your surroundings, be mindful of what could go wrong if you go crazy, and remember how you feel right at this moment.  If you were to end up like Cory, you have so many family members and friends who would be mourning your loss, just like you are mourning his loss.  I always told Ryan and Sam that there is no "Ryan and Sam" department at Target.  If something happens to them, I can't replace them.  Please remember that as you get older and start navigating some dangerous waters.  How would people deal with your loss?  Let that be the question you ask whenever you wonder if you should succumb to peer pressure.  I love you, Collyn."

 

 

 

The death of Cory Monteith is sad, but maybe if kids see how sad it makes them, maybe, hopefully, it will make them not want to bring the same kind of sadness to the people who love them, and guide them in their decisions.

Jonathan Leibson, Getty Images