updated 10/09/2013 AT 10:45 AM ET
•originally published 10/09/2013 AT 12:30 PM ET
“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?
“Everyone is asking, ‘Is it hard to do this? Is it hard to be back at work?’” Michele said. “But the truth is it’s no harder at work than it is in life, so we might as well all be together as a family supporting each other to get through this together.”
While the tribute episode, titled “The Quarterback” airing on FOX Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. ET, never explains how Finn died, it takes place a few weeks after his funeral, with the glee club gathering to say farewell to their friend in song.
The show features touching performances by Naya Rivera singing “If I Die Young,” Chord Overstreet and Kevin McHale performing “Fire and Rain,” and Michele’s Rachel singing the Bob Dylan song, “Make You Feel My Love.”
Although the actress has yet to see the episode, she describes it as “perfect [because] it was something we all needed to do together.”
“I really woke up every single day feeling like I was in some sort of spell or something, that I was lucky enough to have him in my life,” Michele told TV Week Australia. “There was no greater man than Cory, so for the time we spent together, I consider myself very lucky.”