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Actress Lea Michele stepped out for the first time in the nearly three weeks since the untimely death of her boyfriend and Glee co-star Cory Monteith.

Early this week, Lea was seen driving in a car with a friend. Her hair was tied back away from her face, she wore dark sunglasses, a black sweater and a necklace that read ‘Cory.’ According to InTouch, the inspiration for the memorial piece was drawn from Lea’s character on Glee, who wears a chain with her name on it regularly.

The actress seemed happier and even tweeted a kind message to her fans thanking them for their support during this difficult time.

In a tweet Lea sent out July 29th, she thanked her fans for their support and vowed to keep her now-deceased boyfriend in her heart forever. The tweet also contained a photo of the pair:

The show’s creator Ryan Murphy said he gave Lea complete control over the show’s future. Luckily for gleeks everywhere, Lea wasted no time making her decision to return to the show. She revealed to fans that today she stepped back on the Glee set as Rachel Berry to begin shooting.

“Lea blessed every decision,” the executive producer said in an interview with Deadline.com. “I told her even I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to write about the death of someone I love. She wanted people to be together. She and Cory were the young leads of that show, the A story. Lea has been a leader all through this difficult process.”

The cast of Glee recently gathered at the studio where the show is shot for a planned memorial in honor of their castmate and friend. They have planned a special memorial episode to the 31-year-old actor as well.

Glee is set to premiere its fifth season September 26 on Fox.

Photo credit: Twitter/ Wenn