Monteith was found dead in his Canada hotel room last month (Jul13) after ingesting a fatal cocktail of alcohol and heroin, and Murphy has been struggling to decide on how to end the storyline of his character, jock Finn Hudson.
Murphy toyed with the idea of modelling Hudson's departure on the shocking real-life tragedy for the planned memorial episode, but ultimately decided against it and has instead chosen to leave fans in suspense.
He tells Deadline.com, "The hard part for all of us is that the past week we've been holed up writing the memorial episode. There were a lot of things that we had to decide - how are we going to deal with his death? At one point, we were going to have his character die after an accidental drug overdose - that was something we had considered. But we have decided that we're not going to have him pass from that.
"Basically, what we're doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died. The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, 'This episode is about a celebration of that character's life.' That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way."
The cast and crew of Glee returned to work earlier this month (Aug13) after supporting one another through the mourning period, but Murphy insists the toughest part is yet to come as they begin shooting the memorial episode.
He adds, "There's been tears on set. It's been hard for a lot of people. But the really difficult thing is coming. We start shooting the memorial episode this week."