4.14.2011

World Coming Down


Aptly titled. It describes not only the lives of TON's fans, Peter's views on some of his life, but today, the title describes the family's LIFE, one year ago, when we learned that Peter had died.

Think of it from our perspective:

Peter never drank or did drugs until later in life

His world was filled with turmoil and pain during that time

He struggled getting sober (and we struggled in various ways to help him)

His life for a while was killing him and killing us

Only with the help of everyone around him -- family, Lisa his gf, bandmates, friends, strangers -- He gets clean, sober, starts to have clarity, embraces people the way he used to. He apologizes (part of the steps) and starts to plan out his life.

We (band, family, friends) are thrilled he's moving closer ... HE HAD COME FULL CIRCLE IN HIS LIFE

Then ... he dies ... after a brief illness

GONE

AFTER ALL THAT HARD WORK TO GET SOBER

WHY?  That's an answer no one knows.

As I'm weeping writing this, please continue to honor our beloved. Please continue to post pictures. Please continue to share snippets of emotion ... it helps everyone who is suffering to know your pain too

To submit artword for the TON memorial gallery go to http://www.typeonegative.net/
Check in with the Band's FB and MYspace pages
Connect with Cathy Ratajczyk on FB
Or, stay a little while on here as I post photos and stories.

BTW, I've been asked to repost the memorial message:

                                                        ~ * ~ * ~


April 14, 2011

It is with great emotion, continued heartache and collective sorrow that the family of Peter Ratajczyk (Steele) remembers that on this day, only a year ago, we lost our only brother. To the world he was an acclaimed songwriter, lyricist, musician, artist, and singer; to us he was the heart of the family and love of our life.

While battling many demons in his life, he poured out his emotions in lyrical creations that would make you cry, scream or laugh. Along with hallowed music, Peter had that ability to translate love, hate, fear and sorrow into music notes that could bring even the strongest man to his knees in acknowledgment of his feelings. From his musical legacy we learned to feel and express deep-pitted emotions with a driving beat and strong voice, crying the very words we wish we could utter.

But it was the fans that understood Peter the most.  It was the fans who understood his self-depreciating humor, his love of a good joke (even when it was at his expense), his playful on-stage persona, and his sarcastic, analytical way of looking at the world that only Peter could put into words.

The family thanks the adoring fans, the long-time friends, the amazing musicians that have graced Peter's presence, and the photographers and artists who have captured his likeness and beauty. We appreciate every kind word, offered prayer, beautiful letter, gracious hug, and a bounty of support during this horrendous time. You know who you are and we will always embrace you for it.

In the past few months a couple of writers tried to dishonor Peter's legacy by concentrating on his failings and mistakes rather than honoring him for the weight he bore for us all. Please remember these wonderful things about Peter: his genius for writing music & lyrics, his gifted orchestration, his artistic design of album covers, performance backdrops, and inventive printing fonts and logos; his magnetic ways with the audience and fans; his talent for words and languages; his insatiable desire to study science, engineering and war strategy; his love of animals and children; his way of making everyone feel more important than himself; and his generosity and gentlemanly ways.

We encourage everyone who was ever touched by Peter Steele to tell the world about their feelings. We thank you for standing up and acknowledging our brother with the respectful and dignified tributes that a man of his talents, abilities and accomplishments deserves.

Thank you,
The Family Of Peter Ratajczyk Steele


                                                                     ~ *  ~  * ~



Thank you for staying NEGATIVE this year with us


30 comments:

  1. I wish all of you, family and real friends, time to heal and peace some day. My heart is over floating with love for you and yours.

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  2. Reaching out to you on this very black day.

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  3. I am sending all of you strength and hugs. The irony and sarcasm never abandoned Peter, not even his death. Because I can only think it's ironic that he died at such a good point in his life, when the real Peter was finally back and happy and full of motivation and plans.

    I am so sorry and saddened. Really. You are all in my thoughts today. Much love and respect.

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  4. This is a beautiful post. I, for one, think Peter's passing was a tragic loss to the music world. Having lost close family members very recently, I also know what you are feeling. I hope you don't mind that I have linked to this from my dedication post: http://codebassradio.net/2011/04/14/rock-rage-special-edition-rip-peter-steele/

    May peace be with you today.

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  5. I don't know what should I say, really. I think I just can tell ya,that I am very,very sorry about Peter passing. I never knew him in real, I never met him, and hadn't opportunity to talk with him. I just enjoyed Type O's music since I remember. It helped me during my darkest days. Of course I can't say that my pain is the same as yours, Ratajczak Family, but I feel an empty place in my heart and it hurts everytime I think about it. I am sure that Peter was special, great person. I don't know why, but I am feeling a deep connection with you now, maybe the pain brings us together. I hope that peace and time to heal will come soon.

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  6. As i am saddened at the loss of your brother, i am thankful that i found someone who related to me as now i know so many others do. Peter brought soo many of us together in life as now in death. I wish that i would've had the chance to get to know him as a person like you knew him. Its raining here today, but i don't think of tears of sadness, but of thankfulness and love. Hugs to each and everyone out there family and friends and FANS WORLDWIDE....

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  7. Prayers and thoughts to Peter's family today. I still cannot believe Peter's been gone a year. He's probably looking down at us all and wondering "Why the big fuss?".:D

    Rest In Peace, Peter.

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  8. Ratajczyk Family* i mean.

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  9. I've been blasting out the backcatalogue and singing along all day today. Being a Brit I've had a few more hours start. Still find myself chocking up a bit now and then, and I'm one of those mid-thirties long-haired biker dudes......go figure.
    D.

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  10. I give my condolences to Pete's family.

    All this stuff's been on my mind over the last few weeks, when I realized that it's been a year that Pete's gone......

    Last year, when we got the news, my friend Jerry put it best: Pete was a true Brooklyn original.

    Pete took everyone at face value, even after he'd been dicked over by sycophants and other slimeballs that the music business breeds. But he'd call you out on your bullshit once he saw it; this included calling himself out on his own bullshit. I've read that he was "crude." But, in Noo Yawk, "crude" translates to, "I call it like I see it, and if you don't like it, you can go fuck yourself." Sometimes I think he wasn't cut out for the music industry. Because he was too honest. Because he had no pretense. He would give an interviewer some answer that was half hilarious and half serious, and the interviewer wouldn't know how to handle it or how to follow up.

    A lot of slanted, biased crap has been written about Pete, but one thing that I never read was that he was a snob. Not even by the biggest asshole journalists who detailed his personal demons. For a long time after Type O was signed, he still lived in his parents' basement in Midwood by Murrow, and he drove that monstrosity of a vehicle that my friends and I called "The Road Warrior car." Last time I saw him was around '97 or '98 at Ace London, I think at a Christmas party for all the bands who had block time there. And he was just chilling. Laughing, talking about girls, breaking balls. In his element. Just another metalhead from Brooklyn. The only thing that separated him from anyone else was his height. (BTW: I feel for you if you ever shook his hand. Pete's handshakes were like a friggin' force of nature. His wine bottles looked tiny because his hands were so ginormous.) Once, when I met him after a show in Rochester, NY, near where I was going to school, we exchanged numbers. I dare you to name me another guy in any other band who'd do that. You can't.

    Miss you, Pete.

    Ted Montuori

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  11. I am a converted Catholic as Peter was. It is impossible to describe in words how much I learned from Peter. He taught me -how to be a good man, a good Christian, a good Catholic. I read all his interviews, I watched interviews with him. He showed me the way how to be merciful, how to love others, how to love God. He talked a lot about his faith, and it inspired me. This is the excerpt of one of his interview:
    “After my mother passed away last year and a couple of other things happened, I pretty much got back to my faith. I was born Roman Catholic. Believe it or not, I go tot church on Sunday and I do read the Bible. But I don’t read it as a how to live your life book. I read it as if I have a question I can open any page. If you’re open minded you will get the answer from a passage. And you will get a different answer if you read the same passage but it will still be just as worthy. ““I went to confession for the first time in 30 years. And the priest was very happy that I had come back to church and stuff. I didn’t go into each and every sin otherwise he would have to take two weeks vacation (laughs). I said ‘Father I did wrong and I want o apologize to God for my behavior and I’m going to try for it to not happen again.’ It’s better to pay in this life then in the afterlife. "I have pretty much been instructed to say three things: One is that God will not be the man let the man be the man. That abortion is the killer of angels and I am guilty of that myself. And that peace on earth shall not come until this state of design has been converted to Christianity. And that you are going to fuckin pay for what you say and that’s your ticket to death so. . ." "My mother always told me if I really didn’t wan to do something, if I was really tired, but if I had helped someone and I really went out of my way for them but I asked nothing for it, that I should donate my energy to the souls in purgatory—meaning that to give my goodness to those who are trapped. This is purgatory/limbo. This is a very Catholic thing that very few people really understand." “Ever since I have come back to my faith, such incredibly strange things have been happening. Ten times a day if I ask God for a sign, through numbers and letters I will get it. I believe that God speaks to everyone in a way that only that person can understand, but I have been enlightened…you have to ask to be enlightened. I ask these questions and I get the answers. I don’t hear God’s voice. That satisfies me.” “When I said I have hit rock bottom, it’s not in a bad way--it’s in a good way. I’ve found piece on something solid and now I know what the meaning of life. I’ve always thought that the meaning of life was to try to find something to live for. Now I realize, all this time, it is finding something to die for. It’s been right there all the time I will die for my faith. I am going to. I know it.”
    Since his conversion I've prayed for him almost every day. Now I believe I have a brother in Christ in Heaven..
    Goodbye Peter and see YOU!

    Agnes from Poland
    www.myspace.com/agnieszka_w

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  12. Thank you so much Ratajczyk Family for putting this blog together. I hope it helps you heal as much as it helps the fans. I got my first Type O Negative record when I was 12, and I'm almost 30 so Peter was with me for a large span of time. You are all in my thoughts today, and Peter as well.

    Love to you all.

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  13. It is on this unforgettable day last year the world lost a man who not like any other in this world would ever compare to him. A strong gentle giant to those who knew him but misjudged by so many as well. I could not began to write into words how peter's family and those closet to him are dealing with the loss of such a talented,smart,wonderful man and musician. I can only hope that peter is finally at peace and is happy. .....Windy

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  14. Here we are one year later...
    Part of me still hasn't adjusted, how can I, when someone whose music snapped me out of a depression is gone?
    Everyone had their flaws, even myself, and there are still songs that hurt to listen to. My thoughts and my sympathy are with you today and every day
    Thanks for this blog and the memories you've shared

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  15. Dear Ratajczyk family,

    thank you for pouring your hearts out to us, fans and admirers of Peter, and for embracing our own sorrow and love. Your generosity and warmth moves me beyond words.
    The loss of Peter is something that cannot, I humbly think, be explained or reasoned or worded in any way that will make it any less shocking, bewildering, wildly unfair. He had so much waiting for him, so much still to experience, live and accomplish, as a family man, an artist and a thriving human being, especially after having overcome so much through sheer force of will and the loving support of his nearest and dearest.
    The wheels were in motion, plans had been drawn up and then... he was gone.
    I try to remember the good things, all he gave us- not just the music, the roaring poetry of his lyrics, the epic orchestrations that carried your soul away, but the gift of his genuineness, his unflinching, bare-bones honesty, his candour, wit, the ability to own up to his feelings and bare his scars proudly, meeting you square in the eye, showing you his frailty and struggles, so you could cope better with your own. He has always had my respect and admiration, my gratitude, my love and now also, my heartfelt sorrow.
    He is missed but still and forever loved.
    Peter and his family are in my thoughts, wishes and prayers.

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  16. Generosity clearly ran in the family. Thank you so much for sharing so much. My thoughts and prayers are with you this day and every day.

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  17. World coming down is the song i relate the most to. And Peter leaving this world was definitely my world coming down.

    i wish he had been able to enjoy life after all these struggles. I wish you didn't have to endure all that pain.

    Love

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  18. RIP Green Man you will forever live through your music and the lives that you have touched I will play your music nonstop today in honor of YOU
    (-)

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  19. I hardly know what to type, I have so many emotions going through me right now. I managed to hold it together until my kids went off to school, but that was it. I have such a lump in my throat, and my heart, that I can scarcely get a breath past. I know I'm not the only one feeling this way today. I want to send all my love to the Ratajczyk & Type O Family today, and every day. If this is how I am feeling... what you dear folks have been going through is mind boggling.
    Peter and the whole band have been the soundtrack of the happiest times of my life. He's linked in my heart with the beginning of my life with my husband, my soulmate. Pete has always had the emotions I cannot find a way to verbally express, put into song. Sonic therapy, indeed. Just through the bits you'd glean here and there of the real man, I felt a kinship. Now, with the family and his friends and other fans sharing what they do, I see my feelings were right. He was a man I always wished I had the opportunity to go off in a corner and talk to, we seemed to have the same type of interests and stupid sense of humor and appreciation for all that is spooky, snarky, odd. I feel honored that now that I know a few of his personal friends, I have been allowed to share in some small part of him somehow. Simply put, as my dad would say, he's our kind of people.
    I had to drive my husband to work today, and on the way home, once I was alone on the freeway, I had World Coming Down on as loud as it would possibly go. I could feel it deep in my chest and in my bones, and as I cried I remembered how it felt to stand in front of Pete at a show while he played it. I am blessed to have watched him perform 7 times over the past 15 years. He is a part of my life, and I cherish the memories I have, and as I go through the rest of my years, I share the joys and laughter with him as I do with my other loves who are gone. It makes me happy to know they are jamming in heaven now, waiting for the rest of the audience to arrive.
    Too many times I have wanted to write something but deleted it for fear of people thinking I was some stupid fan girl. For once, I won't.
    Thank you so, so much, to Cathy and the rest of his family for giving me this place to pay tribute to him.
    Jennifer Timpo

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  20. I feel as though Peter were a part of my life, as some sort of cosmic brother on this spiritual plane. However you describe it, his music has lifted me up in some of the blackest moments in my life. He made it okay for me to get mad, to hate the situation I was in and to take charge of my life the best way I see fit.

    Even though my heart grieves me so, it helps to know that he is waiting on us on the other side. He is with his loved ones and friends that predeceased him and is happy.

    My thoughts and love go out to his loved ones still here. And a special thank you goes out to Cathy and Pat for opening up and sharing Peter's life with us.

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  21. To the Ratajczyk Family,
    This post just broke my heart. As fans we forget that great people like Peter have families that have suffered even more from this loss. I applaud you for pouring your heart out not only with this post but with the blog in general. This is so great to read stories and see old pictures of him. Always so handsome, wasn't he? My goodness those green eyes. When Peter passed away last year I felt great regret that I didn't get into ToN more deeply and sooner (though I did have The Least Worst compilation since I was about 17), and that I had a couple of chances to see ToN live in the early 2000s but never went. God bless you all.

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  22. Two Quotes By Peter That Has Touched Me Some Way Or Another:

    This Entire Opus Is Respectfully Dedicated To All Those Who Have Loved Unconditionally Only To Have Their Hearts Unanaesthetically Ripped Out: Base Not Your Joy Upon The Deeds Of Others, For What Is Given Can Be Taken Away: No Hope = No Fear....Peter Steele Type O Negative...


    “I Don't Know What To Say To That, But I Have To Agree With Johnny That, Yeah, We Do Touch Upon Things That Most Men Would Rather Not Admit: That We Feel Pain, We Cry, Get Sad And Sometimes Don't Deal Well With Disappointment....Peter Steele Type O Negative...

    I met Peter several times in Cleveland and I couldnt have been treated any better. April 14th will forever be a black day for me. Wishing the best to his family for years to come...I miss him and his music....Sincerly Rick White..

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  23. When I heard Peter died , i thought ppl were joking, then after a time I realised it was true,When I listen to his voice, I can feel him, like his sitting right next to me, i dont open my eyes, because I fear he might get up and leave.I fell asleep listening to his music - i had a dream where he was sitting looking out of a window, it was raining outside, i asked him ' Peter r u okay? , he looked at me for a second and then again out of the window and he replied 'Now,i am fine.'..god i miss him !

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    1. I though it was a joke until I called a record company.

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  24. A child is born for many reasons some to touch many lives of others in a special or particular way even if only for a moment there is a reason. A special one your brother is to many. A talented one, a fighter of forces beyond known to most. He sends a message through his music to all. Only God knows why we are here for a portion of time; when it begins & when we move on to the other side. Death is not the end merely a beginning to a rebirth. He lives in each of our hearts. For me....He will always be on my good side!

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  25. Peter's death has made me so sad. I cannot imagine or fathom what you, his family, gf, band mates, are going through. His music, talent, kindness when I met him has played a significant role in my life for the past 20 years and will continue to do so. My thoughts and prayers are with you........

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  26. I had met Peter a few months before his passing. I was with my husband on the tour bus in Connecticut. Peter was very gracious and kind and offered me a seat next to him. I sat and he had a few pizza boxes he was eating from on his lap. He kept offering me pizza. I kept telling him "No, keep eating". There were a few people on the bus who kept asking him the typical "rock star" questions which he would answer. My husband and I started talking to him about his sobriety, his religious beliefs, his tattoos and how he was wearing his ankle monitor. Let me tell you that he lit up when he was able to communicate with us about things other than "being a rock star". He had said he was happy sober however it was very hard but worth it. He sat on that bus around many people who were drinking alcohol (including myself) and I give him so much credit for not giving in to those demons and being strong. I miss him so much and am so honored to have had a true, in-depth conversation with him after 20 years of never meeting him face-to-face.

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  27. Kerri,

    The conversation you had with Peter was exactly what he preferred - normal connections - I would be surprised if he didn't ask what you and your husband did for a living so he can find out about YOUR life. He's always been that kind of guy.

    Thanks for commenting. It means the world to us that Peter impacted your life. Because he certainly did for us.

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  28. First of all, let me start out by saying THANK YOU for sharing Peter's baby picture above!

    For the past two weeks, between trying to care for my 3 yr old son and doing household chores, I try to find quiet moments when I can sit and read all of these wonderful stories that you all have so graciously shared. I can't begin to thank you enough.
    I am a late-bloomer TON fan. Sometime in 2009, I was messing around on YouTube, looking for something new to listen to. Honestly, I don't remember how I stumbled upon it, but "Christian Woman" popped up. Being a Catholic-Christian woman myself, I thought it sounded like something maybe I could relate to. Well, hehe, no, I couldn't relate, but I surely loved the sound of this song. And, oh, that voice! I had to hear more..lots more. Two years later, not a day has gone by that I haven't listened to a TON song. Bloody Kisses, October Rust, World Coming Down, and Dead Again are with me at all times. Truthfully, I can't explain how the sheer genius of this music and the soul of Peter's voice has affected my life. And of course, his sense of humor!
    I have deep regrets on never seeing TON in concert, but since my husband had before we met, I make him tell me from time to time about the experience. What I wouldn't do to go back in time so that I could've attended a concert and, with any luck, been able to meet this truly wonderful man.
    So, here we are, over a year since his death, and I still can't get enough. And even though I've never met Peter, I deeply miss him. I don't ever remember crying over the death of anyone famous, but I surely did when I learned of his passing. Hell, I still get teary-eyed when I listen to certain songs or while reading some of these blogs. How truly blessed are you, the family and friends of Peter Steele, to have had someone like him in your lives! I believe he's still with all of you and I believe he can still see and hear his fans. So, when I'm driving in my car, singing my heart out to "Green Man" or sitting at work, dancing in my seat to "Pyretta Blaze," I know he's up there laughing his ass off! And I'm ok with that because he was the kind of guy you could make an ass out of yourself in front of and he'd probably get a kick out of it! So, since I didn't have the pleasure of making him laugh at me while he was alive, then surely I will do it as he looks down on us from above!
    Many thanks again for sharing all of these truly wonderful stories. And my deepest sympathy to the family and friends for the loss of such a magnificent human being. ~God Bless you all~

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  29. Peter is always in my heart he put a imprint in my heart and soul I know he is with our Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ he is so happy now he is with his father , mother, sister, aunt and all his loved ones now no more pain sorrow tears Pete is loved by so manny people he didn't even know it but you know what ? He sure does now love and miss you Pete see you soon

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