The former lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, Scott Weiland, was found dead in his tour bus last week. His former wife Mary Forsberg Weiland, who is also the mom of his kids Noah 15 and Lucy 13, has written a touching letter published in Rolling Stone magazine. In the letter Mary asks the public not to ‘glorify this tragedy’ but instead take the time to recognize a child who is lacking in a father figure, as her kids did their whole lives, and step in to make a difference for them.
Mary writes that while December 3rd might have been the day Scott died, her kids lost their father long before that, “The outpouring of condolences and prayers offered to our children, Noah and Lucy, has been overwhelming, appreciated and even comforting. But the truth is, like so many other kids, they lost their father years ago. What they truly lost on December 3rd was hope.”
She goes on to write about how Scott’s illnesses and drug issues had a constant and negative effect on their kids, writing “When he remarried, the children were replaced. They were not invited to his wedding; child support checks often never arrived. Our once sweet Catholic boy refused to watch the kids participate in Christmas Eve plays because he was now an atheist. They have never set foot into his house, and they can’t remember the last time they saw him on a Father’s Day. I don’t share this with you to cast judgment, I do so because you most likely know at least one child in the same shoes. If you do, please acknowledge them and their experience. Offer to accompany them to the father-daughter dance, or teach them to throw a football. Even the bravest girl or boy will refrain from asking for something like that; they may be ashamed, or not want to inconvenience you. Just offer – or even insist if you have to.”
“I won’t say he can rest now, or that he’s in a better place. He belongs with his children barbecuing in the backyard and waiting for a Notre Dame game to come on. We are angry and sad about this loss, but we are most devastated that he chose to give up.”
Mary seems to want to encourage others to recognize other kids who are possibly fighting a similar battle her children did – one where they don’t have a father figure to guide them and look up to, and to do something about it.
“Noah and Lucy never sought perfection from their dad. They just kept hoping for a little effort. If you’re a parent not giving your best effort, all anyone asks is that you try just a little harder and don’t give up. Progress, not perfection, is what your children are praying for. Our hope for Scott has died, but there is still hope for others. Let’s choose to make this the first time we don’t glorify this tragedy with talk of rock and roll and the demons that, by the way, don’t have to come with it. Skip the depressing T-shirt with 1967-2015 on it – use the money to take a kid to a ballgame or out for ice cream.”
You can read Mary’s full essay here.