Jane Lynch: Losing Cory Monteith Has ‘Just Been Brutal’ for Lea Michele

Jane Lynch, Cory Monteith and Lea Michele

Sipa USA; Splash News Online

updated 08/25/2015 AT 8:16 PM ET

originally published 09/22/2013 AT 2:00 PM ET

For Jane Lynch, coping with the loss of Glee costar Cory Monteith is an ongoing struggle.

“I think that grieving comes in waves,” she told PEOPLE at the Ciroq-sponsored Variety & Women in Film pre-Emmy event in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Friday. “Every day that I go to work, I walk past his trailer, and every time I look at a call sheet I see that his name is not on there. Every time I do a scene with the kids I realize that he’s not there, so you’re reminded in every moment. It’s hard, and it feels like such a waste.”

But while Lynch admits “it’s tough” as she and her castmates continue to mourn the 31-year-old – who died from a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol this past July – her heart goes out to his girlfriend and costar, Lea Michele.

“I know it’s just been brutal for her,” Lynch said at the Gallo Family Vineyards and Ciroq-sponsored event. “I never lost a boyfriend when I was 26 years old. I can’t tell her what her experience is. She’s a champion, and she is a rock star, and she is getting through this.”

The Fox show is set to pay tribute to Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, in a special episode airing next month. And after she read the script, Lynch reassured fans on Twitter that it was the “Most beautiful thing.”

But the episode, and the upcoming In Memoriam tribute at Sunday’s Emmy awards, are only a part of the collective grieving process.