Scott Weiland's Death Wasn't the Tragedy; His Addiction Was
There’s a point in the lives of some addicts where those around him reluctantly, begrudgingly, heartbreakingly begin to recognize that he’s a lost cause, that there’s no longer a way to save him, because there’s nothing left to save. You don’t want to admit it, but the person you once loved is no longer inside of him — his body has become a useless vessel for narcotics. The quality of life is gone, because there is no life left inside of him.
It becomes a matter of when, and not if, and there’s a part of you that hopes it’s sooner rather than later. Not for selfish reasons, but for humanitarian ones. To end his suffering. Because the drugs have become a kind of life support system, and the easiest thing for everyone, including the addict, is simply to pull the plug.
Sadly, it sounds like that’s where Scott Weiland was in the last months, if not years, of his life, and it sounds like his loved ones — including his children — were keeping vigil over a man that was already dead, his body just hadn’t conceded it.
That’s the gist of the heartbreaking essay Scott Weiland’s ex-wife and mother of this two children, Mary Forsberg Weiland, wrote in Rolling Stone this week, pleading for us not to “glorify this tragedy.”
“December 3rd, 2015 is not the day Scott Weiland died. It is the official day the public will use to mourn him, and it was the last day he could be propped up in front of a microphone for the financial benefit or enjoyment of others,” she wrote. “the truth is, [her children Noah and Lucy] lost their father years ago. What they truly lost on December 3rd was hope.”
At some point, someone needs to step up and point out that yes, this will happen again - because as a society we almost encourage it. We read awful show reviews, watch videos of artists falling down, unable to recall their lyrics streaming on a teleprompter just a few feet away. And then we click “add to cart” because what actually belongs in a hospital is now considered art.
Many of these artists have children. Children with tears in their eyes, experiencing panic because their cries go unheard. You might ask, “How were we to know? We read that he loved spending time with his children and that he’d been drug-free for years!” In reality, what you didn’t want to acknowledge was a paranoid man who couldn’t remember his own lyrics and who was only photographed with his children a handful of times in 15 years of fatherhood. I’ve always wanted to share more than anyone was comfortable with. When writing a book years ago, it pained me to sometimes gloss over so much grief and struggle, but I did what I thought was best for Noah and Lucy. I knew they would one day see and feel everything that I’d been trying to shield them from, and that they’d eventually be brave enough to say, “That mess was our father. We loved him, but a deep-rooted mix of love and disappointment made up the majority of our relationship with him.”
Noah and Lucy were 15 and 13, respectively, and they’d barely seen their father for years. He’d remarried and “replaced” his children, who were not invited to the wedding; they’d never been to his house, and Weiland had stopped participating in their lives, which — as Forsberg wrote — might have been a “parting gift,” allowing them a “long goodbye,” although they were still left with that hope.
But you have to wonder again about the accuracy of Andy Dufresne’s assessment (“hope is a good thing”) or if Red was right all along: “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” Scott Weiland’s children were probably too young to recognize the point of no return, and I wonder if Weiland’s death was a blessing in disguise, extinguishing that which can “drive a man insane”?
In other words, Scott Weiland’s death was not the tragedy — it allowed those around him an opportunity to finally move on. It was an addiction from which he could never recover that was the real tragedy, and that took his life many years ago.
Source: Rolling Stone
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