7.22.2011

Getting Into The Weekend Stretch

Thanks again for ALL of your WONDERFUL comments to yesterday's post. It took me a while to put it up and it took Marie a while to put her feelings into words, but I think that its a subject that affects practically every family. Drug addition. A disease that destroys lives.


Thank you Isa from Germany for Introducing me to this Polish Artist: Beksinski

On this blog, many of you shared enormous things about yourselves. From people from other parts of the world  sharing their own personal demons ... to the reader in PA having a sister in FL who was arrested for possession ... to the girl who had to change her identity to be able to get a job in another state ...  to the guy who told us that he hated himself so much that he wanted to die. You guys are so giving of your personal info and stories to us ... it makes it easier to exhale and know we are with good people.

Now, I'm not that kind of person who judges. Hell, my mother taught us about the acceptance of various lifestyles. We know that some people get on perfectly well in life dabbling a little in this or weekend partying in that. That's not what we are saying here. Sometimes no matter how much you want someone to stop abusing themselves, it's just not time for them yet. Interventions are usually the start of the downward spiral. Rarely are they the catalyst that makes you want to stop.

While I'm on this subject, I ask lawmakers and the medical profession to figure out ways in which families can legally keep their drug addicted loved ones in programs. Why is it that their has to be a court-appointment before someone pays attention to this person's ruined life. Why do we have to wait till a person becomes a danger to him/herself before a family can get assistance. Whose rights are we really protecting here? What good does that do when there are so many drug overdoses and deaths?

As Marie noted in her post yesterday, that Peter had accomplished sobriety, I think of the shock and wonder we all had when we heard of his death. While we knew in our hearts he had overcome his addiction, just like some of you, we wondered, was it a relapse? In the case with Peter, his autopsy revealed that he was clean and sober -- no legal or illegal drugs in his sytem and absolutely no trace of alcohol.

I guess that a man who set out to accomplish so much, and who made a huge impact in his industry and on his fans, left this world after making a personal accomplishment that saved his soul. Too bad he didn't get to enjoy it for very long. Hopefully, Peter Steele is enjoying something more amazing in another time, place, galaxy or altitude.

Now this is a weird mix. Thoughts:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPn70UuH_KI&feature=fvsr

26 comments:

  1. I have to thank you Darcie, and your whole family!
    Isa

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  2. hi all,
    hows everybody doing?..hope fine and ok.
    I was gonna post on the last one but couldnt put into words on how I felt about it..we knew Peter was dealing with demons and alot were worried about him...alot. including myself.Im just glad he was able to finally beat those demons..just sucks that he was taken before he could fully experience all that he wanted to do.god must have needed him for a more imnportant mission. just wish it could have been at a later time so he could have been able to finish all he was planning. thats what really sucks about it. theres so much Peter could have done here still. and some of us are stuck in limbo and not knowing what to do or how to go on.
    theres this show called the Doctors..dont know if you heard of it or not but they do take on medical issues including addiction. they have allready done a couple of shows about teens and adults that have addictions and what everybody goes through in it..maybe you could get a hold of them and have them do another episode on that subject again. they could be your voice for getting through what needs to be addressed in it. just another thought on how you could get the issue dealt with and maybe a new law passed to help others in that situation.
    I think you all are doing good with this blog.think Peter would be proud of you all for doing all that your doing.
    ya all are special and its been an honor to read your blogs and all the stuff your family did growing up and to learn a bit more about Peter and his wonderful loving family.and of others families lives too.
    its just hard when you know there will never be another Peter..he was a very special one in a million kind of guy. ya dont find many that care more about others than themselves.
    addictions can really mess people up no matter what it is. my family has what they call the addictive gene. my mom dealt with smoking and drinking took her 2 times of getting deathly sick before she finally quit. was hard on all of us but were so glad she quit before it totally consumed her. we also have depression and bi polar in our family which can make addictions a bit harder for some.
    maybe if you continue to get the word out it will bring more attention to that issue about getting help.
    anyways just a bit of my thoughts on that.hope thats ok.
    anyways Im stuck on what else I could say for the moment so gonna catch ya at the next blog.till then ya all take care and god bless you for all that yout doing. when you go visit Peter again tell him that we still love and miss him very much. till the next blog.Ciao for now.

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  3. Yes it makes no sense that someone who is obviously out of their mind and a danger to themselves from drugs/alcohol etc is allowed to make the decision on what is best for them. Unfortunately anything to do with mental health is not a high priority in society.There would not be anywhere near as much drug and alcohol addiction if people had better access to good long term rehab/mental health programs. I was 100% positive that Peter had not relapsed but to read it from you is good to know. The strain his big beautiful heart was under for all those years just couldn't take it anymore. As I have said many times I am so proud of him for being clean and sober at the end. Peter has his own kingdom somewhere and I plan on being there someday when its my turn.

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  4. Thanks once again for opening up into something so very personal. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wondered about many of the topics you've broached and I know I was so proud and happy for him to hear he was clean and sober at the time of his passing.

    The other thing I've wondered about is Pete's relationship with God. We all have gone through times questioning his existence and sometimes angry with him, but it was interesting to see the comments Pete had in more recent interviews and the stark departure from his older views (as expressed) on God. Would you be willing to talk about his religious upbringing, how he viewed religion and God later and then the seeming revelations he had? The comments he made in more recent interviews also brought me comfort - belief that Pete was right with his maker when he passed.

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  5. Read this with tears in my eyes.. I knew Peter had been clean & sober for almost a year before he passed but to hear it from family just gets my emotions flowing. Life just isnt fair, after all he accomplished he should have been allowed more time to enjoy his sobriety and live life to the fullest. I was anxiously awaiting another album, and hearing Peter tell us about what he went thru the past couple years. But then I think too, atleast he was able to leave this earth at a time where he was in a much better place mentally and with pride and dignity. I will forever miss him. And I will hold the Ratajczyk family very close to my heart forever.

    P.S. I love the Doro & Peter duet you posted here, its very different but you can just hear the passion and emotion in Peter's voice. I have this album and every time I heard this song it would give me chills..love it.

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  6. That is a weird mix!
    Pete's blood tested clean, and I knew it would, but thanks for letting us all know. When I read Pat's post quoting that phone call the described symptoms indicated his heart failure was a secondary response to another problem in a different area, possibly some sort of renal failure like a ruptured gall-bladder or kidney problem. If it was, surgery would've likely been required to save him, and it would've been dicey but yes, he had a shot at survival if done in time. You just know he'd've proudly shown off the closed incision afterward, especially if there was ooze! Still perplexed and beyond peeved that anyone would closely observe such a thing but not get him to a doc. Pete seems to have died of heartbreak.
    As for effective humane help for an addiction afflicted person before it gets bizzarre, more on that later. Man, this's going to be a day of long posts for you. Pete had many successful professionals amongst his ranks, and answers to those questions require complex detail. It's like digging a ditch while playing dodgeball and poker at the same time. It can be done but it's tricky and exasperating!
    You're in for a long haul on this one. Happy Friday!

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  7. I wasn't going to comment on this and I will understand if you decide not to post, but I don't agree with interventions at all. A good friend of mine had this done and it backfired, he felt betrayed and severed all ties with his family after that. Looking back I think it increased his drug use. I SAW MY FRIEND OVERDOSE AND DIE, and though I obviously don't blame his family, I just think the intervention made him more angry and not give a fuck anymore. I just don't think forced treatment is the answer, you need to want it for yourself. A person needs to hit their rock bottom whatever that might be and unfortuantly mine was seeing my friend die and believe me I harbour much guilt about it and always will! I'm sorry if reading this upsets you, that is not my intention, but I felt I had to honestly express my opinion on this. RIP Matt, I think about you everyday man.

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  8. As Brenda said before me i did not post anything about yesterdays post, because i did not know what to say that hadent already been said.Treatment for addiction and mental health issues in this country have a lot to be desired. i myself have suffered with depression and anxiety disorders for years. i also have attention defecit disorder that was diagnosed when i was 53!!! i had had a mini stroke and was getting really forgetful so i went to a neurologist and was told i have add. i could have taken a wild guess at that myself because i did poorly in school and knew fully well i could NOT pay attention. i badgered doctors for years about my son who is now 35 he had problems in school too.when he was 18 and out of school they wanted to put him on ritalin and i refused because at that time in his life he would have sold it to his friends for 5.00 a hit.I found music was my way of giving me the inner peace the racing thoughts in my head could not.I could put on type o and music calmed the beast inside my head.Peters gift to the world besides his music was his caring ways,you could just feel it. Peter got me through my fathers death, the loss of my job after 18 years and it still brings me peace at the loss of Peter. I truly thank you for these posts, they really brighten my day. Thank you.

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  9. I think Peter could have sung the alphabet and I'd love it...this song isn't really my personal taste in music, BUT his voice makes all the difference and gives it that extra something.
    You are an amazing family. Thanks for yesterdays post (and every post before, for that matter.)It's nice to have a place where so many people can come and feel understood and safely share their own demons. I'm so respectful of the fact that Peter was clean when he died. And no doubt his soul is enjoying something bigger than this world...

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  10. The song Peter did with Doro is awesome! It's not typically what I would listen to, but I think it has a really sexy sound to it.

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  11. I understand the question raised on the blog, to give families legal instruments to keep their loved ones who are addicted in a program.
    But I wonder if it is an answer?

    My most early memories go back from when I was 4 or 5 years old and my mother was alcohol addicted. She was sent to several programs ... and every time again she restarted drinking. These rehabprograms were hard for her and for us. Everytime you hope and everytime the pain because they start all over again. I'm convinced that if someone stopts it is because they've hit rock bottom (for every person different) and they finally want to cope with their personal demons. When I was 15 she met someone who loved her enough to guide her through the different hard stages to sobriety and she made it and had 15 years left to live her live. We all wished that it hadn't taken so long but it was that way. She wasn't ready the years before she told us. she couldnt explain why, but she explained that all our effort before were in vain, lost before she began a rehabprogram because she already knew she would start again.

    When can we choose-against someone's will-for them ? When can we say - knowing we want a better life for the one we love - that our will is more important and from now one we are the one's who make decisions for the one we love? I've poured a lot of wodka down the drain to 'save' my mom. It didn't help. Now I understand that the only thing she was thinking of was that she had to work extra hours to pay for her booze. If they don't want to get better,it will not work.

    In the end, I think people are free to make their own choices, even if it is difficult for the people around them who love hem/her. As long as someone is not hurting somebody else, but only himself, you can not legally intervene. You can help in every possible way (like marie told yesterday), you can plead, you can beg, anything ... but not take over someone's life.

    to me having respect for life is also having respect for people who don't want to, how hard that may be.

    Why didn't peter wanted to be helped?

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  12. Hey I remember one night on the phone with Cathy, first of all I was in shock I was talking to Peters sister and second she had given me the best advice, I told her about my demons and how I wanted to get rid of them and how I had thoughts about checking myself into a rehab center and do the 21 days, she told me that shes been sober for a very long time and that it was the best thing she ever did for herself, well I went and did my 21 days, but 2 days before I left I went and got the Type O symbol tattooed on my left forearm, while in rehab I looked at it everyday and especially at my worst points in there when I felt like leaving, that tattoo is now MY symbol of my sobriety... Thanks Cathy for the good advice and the kind words, for someone she never knew ever she treated me like I was family for that 30 minute conversation... Thanks again...

    - Johnny Caputo (Creator of the Type O Negative Army on FB)

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  13. I just want to thank all of the Ratajczyk family for sharing these incredible personal stories of Peter. I couldn't agree more that it's such a great disappointment that people with serious addiction problems, including mental health, have to go through so much red tape to get the help they need..if they can even get that help. I've had my fun with drugs and alcohol and was lucky to have stopped when I did. I was one of those lucky ones who was able to stop and never look back with out any type of treatment. 6 years ago I was diagnosed with Schizo-Affective Disorder, which I probably should have been diagnosed when I was a teenager. I had been losing one job after another because of it which left me with no health insurance. When my family finally stepped in to get me some help, it was a difficult battle to get me into local mental health clinics for treatment. I unfortunately didn't get the help I needed till I landed in emergency room after a few attempted suicides and it was there I was able to get the help I so needed. After the first hospitalization in a psychiatric ward, it opened up access to what I needed to "get well" after I left the psych ward. On the mental health side of things in my State, it's become a little easier for people to get help but not by much. Here in America, there needs to be a better way for people to have access to care and treatment when it comes to addiction and mental health. The world losing Peter(you guys as well) was a blow beneath the belt to us all. I'm thankful for your family for starting this blog because it gives us the bigger picture about Peter. I don't want to sound cliche, but Peter's music has always been what I listen to when I'm plagued by looming dark clouds. I still do. When Life Is Killing me came out, I remember my former band mate and I took a trip down to Georgia to see my family we listened to that album the whole way there and the whole way back. I live here in Georgia now, so any time I go out to Tybee Island Life Is Killing Me is the only CD to be heard on my car radio. Thank you again!!

    -Steve from Savannah, GA

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  14. I know that many people could have been saved by now if these restrictions were lifted. Good thoughts.

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  15. Hello, I'm a young guy. Peter gave me the strength to find God. Because of Peter, I live a better life. I never had the chance, but Peter was someone I always looked up to. He is a very strong influence in my life, and thank you for keeping him alive with memories. I found this on the net, it made me laugh. Pete and Louie working on their cars during Carnivore days. Cheers & Thank you.

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  16. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzA9geJFgnY

    Sorry, that is the link of Pete and Louie workin' on their cars.

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  17. Very touching and emotional post and all that i have read from the comments that everyone has posted as well. As i wipe my tears there is nothing i could say that hasn't already been said by so many.. Accept to thank you for opening your hearts to us about personal matters such as this and all the memories you share day by day and letting us into your lives to share the love that we all have for peter....My heart,My love,My thoughts goes out to all of you... Thank you!

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  18. One thing you may want to do is ask a medical professional about Marfan's Syndrome. It can affect the heart, lungs, and connective tissue. Long fingers and feet are usually tell tale signs of the disease, and it is hereditary. If you have any other family members that show those signs, get them into a doctor and start asking questions! I heard a doctor say that if you can touch your fingertips to your wrist, that may possibly be a good indication of Marfans Syndrome. This disease can be responsible for aneurisms, which if not caught, can be sudden and disasterous!

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  19. I have to start off saying I cried when I read that Peter was clean and sober when he passed. It was like a weight was lifted off my heart, I couldn’t stand the thought of him relapsing. Second with this blog I cannot see you doing any wrong by him with sharing his life with us. As you said it is a way to heal.

    I do agree with you 100% that there should be ways for families to keep there loved ones who are addicted in programs. I have a brother who has been clean for 20+ years; a niece who is going on two years, a nephew who recently had a slip, and a brother who is still using and thinks we are stupid and he says he’s clean. I have to agree also with one of the comments that intervention doesn’t really work. My brother that is still using is a great example. As they say, he hasn’t hit bottom yet.

    I remember and interview I say and what stands out the most was when he was asked about getting clean. One minute I was 35 and the next I’m 45, I’ve lost 10 years of my life. You could almost see it in his eye’s that he couldn’t believe it had been that long.
    Still he made it 8 months and he has my praise for it. Staying sober is not and easy thing.

    Now, for you who know and love him all his life you are all doing a great job! For those who don’t get this blog. It’s there loss. For those of us who are huge fans and who have come to love Peter (and we can’t forget Josh, Johnny, and Kenny), appreciate and love you all for doing this. I know I do. Listening to there music and listening and reading the interviews, just shows what a brilliant minded, huge hearted, deep thoughts, and loving person he was. And ever day you welcome is into you love, life, and memories of Peter.

    Look at it this way, in yesterday’s post you attached and interview he did and in that interview he said when he had his “head screwed on straight” he would write a book about his life……your completing a dream for him. You are telling us about his life like he had wanted to do one day. Once again you are making him proud. I can’t love you enough for it. I can honestly he say I know he would. And if you ever decide to turn this blog into a book..BABY I’D BUY IT!!!

    Keep smiling and take it one day at a time.

    P.S. do you hear from Josh, Johnny, and Kenny?

    Dianna Lane
    Phoenix AZ

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  20. I just got in and got a chance to read the last couple of posts and I have to say WOW.  I have to be honest, I didn't think Peter's addiction would be a subjec would be broached on this forum, because it was so personal.  I think it is wonderful how honest Peter's family has chosen to be with us.  I am very grateful for the honesty they have chosen to share with us.  As for the haters, I am not so naive to think that the family hasn't seen the derogatory comments that are out there about Peter or that some of them haven't made their way to this sight and been edited, but I hope you find peace in the knowledge that you honor Peter's memory by continuing to touch people's lives in a POSITIVE way.
    Thank you again. I truly enjoy each story about Peter that you share.
    Thank you - Nadine

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  21. Wow, very touching comments everyone has posted.

    I don't know if you'll post this, but just in case, I'd like to explain something about drug-induced psychosis, for those who are unfamiliar with it

    Addiction to certain drugs can cause a state where the mind of the user becomes totally different in it's thinking to our normal perceptions, which in turn affects the users' feelings and subsequent behaviours.
    Paranoid and delusional thoughts become the norm - and everything the sufferer thinks about, or does becomes affected in some way... this results in that person thinking, feeling and acting very different and out of character to how they were known previously.

    With such distorted thinking, the world around the sufferer appears to change vividly and dramatically, their mind tries to cope with and make sense of it, but fear and apprehension generally compound their already skewed thoughts.
    Usually, the sufferer has no knowledge or insight as to how their distorted thoughts appear to other people, because strangely, it all seems to make sense to them - this is a very important point in understanding what I think Peter and his family went through.
    This is why Peter was behaving as mentioned in yesterday's blog entry - he was unable to see how his thoughts and behaviour appeared so strange, it all must have made sense to him.
    As this kind of state progresses over time for the sufferer, anxiety and confusion increase, hand-in-hand with more fear and doubt - potentially reaching a point where, in an attempt to seek security and peace, the sufferer may behave in ways that are SO strange that they seriously compromise their own and/or others' safety - intervention is needed.

    It's heart-breaking that your family were failed so much, that the States has a different system to here in the UK, I think we are lucky in that regard, having the NHS, we also have the Mental Health Act.

    Drug-induced psychosis requires very specialized care - red tape and money should NOT be factors in getting help - it's a serious and acute state, requiring immediate attention.

    I wish it were different for you all, I wish I could help :(

    As most people know, an addicted person (don't like calling people addicts) must reach the critical point of genuinely admitting their addiction, before any real progress can stand a chance.
    However, if that person had secondary complications from drug use that resulted in paranoid and delusional thinking/behaviour (had lost touch with reality, so to speak) it becomes a different scenario altogether.
    Sadly, people have in fact died, for lack of intervention. Yet, there's no denying how distressing, and potentially detrimental, the whole process can be for all concerned.

    Thanks for reporting how Peter was clean when he passed.

    Love and Best Wishes to the Ratajczyk Family, and to ALL who suffer in their own ways <3

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  22. Interventions are well meant but there are other ways, and the most ill-advised thing most US families do is trust 'The System' too much. State programs don't generally work because they broadly punish rather than uniquely treat, and each addicted person has unique needs. Private practice psychopharmacologists cost less than a psyche-ward, though insurance still doesn't seem to want to pay for them, and as long as there's someone to stick by the afflicted and keep drug suppliers at bay (recommending the film: Walk the Line) they're the healthier alternative.
    The Ratajczyk family got advice that predictably backfired, probably from AA or NA, and the legal system and insurance company do nothing to interfere because they make money on shame rather than offering any concept of adding varietal forms of happiness as a substitute for drugs. Intervention and standardized treatment failures are a system failure, not a family failure. YOU DID NOT FAIL HIM.
    The worst thing that could've befallen Pete did. He was basically kidnapped by PA, left with almost no substitute forms of pleasure to keep his brain functioning on a healthy level. He probably didn't understand how badly his health was deteriorating because his brain's ability to properly gauge that was negated. Again, if just one of us had been there I believe he'd be touring about now, working hard to stay clean and play well, probably eating extra cookies or, well, something, dealing with hair problems and making scary noises while showing off that scar. We all wish things had gone differently.
    If you want to make a difference for the future, mostly the only way to change an ill-working or greed-based system is to threaten it, and the only way to threaten the US's legal and healthcare system is by using the press. Pete used the press, and it used him back. Ask yourselves, "Who's the most outgoing, well-spoken, camera-friendly family member, now?"

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  23. Rosemarie from NY5:26 PM, July 23, 2011

    I'm right now dealing with a son who's mourning the loss of his best friend and self medicating to help his pain. I love him beyond words, he's not using alcohol or heavy drugs or pills or heroin it's not that destructive. But using none the less. It's dulling the pain. What I've read above from the fans has me hopeful that my son will have an awakening one a day and he will stop and start living his life again. His heart is broken from the loss of his best friend/brother and nothing will change that. But as with Peter's family life must go on. We can talk and share memories and that helps so much. WE can also find ways to get the message out to those who are using to dull the pain, or in Peter's case help with stage fright, confidence etc....there are other ways to get out of that space in your life. #1 Never ever threaten someone, that does not work...like I'm going to kick you out if you don't do this or that. Here's a suggestion, have them talk to you about joyous times in their life, when life was just about perfect, happiness was abundent before the demons took ahold. Close your eyes, ask them to see that person, see him happy and laughing. Now hold onto that memory and keep gathering up more happy memories until you're remembering all these happy moments. Then picture yourself as a future happy healthy person again, visualize that. Point A to Point C....leave out B the in between when the demons were in charge. Hypnotherapy helps so much with this. If anyone is interested in that, look into that. It would take me an entire page to explain the benefits. In a nutshell, when you are under hypnotherapy, your subconscious is open to suggestion...the trained hypnotherapist can help you recall happier memories, before you were in the place you are now. Then you spend time in that happy place enjoying those happy memories. When you come out of hypnotherapy, your subconscious is still able to recall that time in your life and you don't have to do anything to get that feeling, it's automatic. It works...like I said it would take awhile to fully explain. I wish I could have helped Peter find that happiness because he had tons of happy memories from his childhood with his family laughing, smiling, enjoying life. He would be alive to tell his stories again. That is such a tragedy. Anyone struggling, get help please. We want you around for a long time, you are valuable, you are loved, you are soooo worth it and your contribution to our lives, it's big. Love and Peace to the Ratajczyk family. My prayers are always with you. Peter was a man who will never be forgotton. He was big in life and he is big in the afterlife. What a beautiful soul, we miss you. Tears to Heaven

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  24. I love the Doro/Pete song, I have it on my MP3 player! This is one of the best interviews I've seen of Peter, he talks about sobriety and his relationship with God...and I really just get chills at his final words. I think as a last message to people who looked up to him, it's a positive way to go out. I am so happy that he had at least started to find some inner peace.

    http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2010/04/recent_video_in.html

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  25. I was very beside myself when I had heard that Pete passed away. I knew he had been clean and sober for over 300 days. I was very proud of him for that. But when the news came that he had passed, I was hoping and praying that it wasnt from drugs and alcohol for the reason. When I was told it wasnt either as to why he passed I cried. It was like an anvil was lifted off of my heart. I surely didnt want him to be remembered as being an addict.

    My out take on why God took Pete so early and in such a good state of mind was that Pete and the guys were getting ready to do the new album thing. That would lead to going on tour. Which in the end would mean seeing all of the same damn people out on the road for Pete. He may not have wanted to do the shit anymore, but he would be under lots of losers offering him this stuff. So I think God took Pete as a whole. Not as some addict. I never met Peter but I had always wished him well and prayed every single day for his sobriety/continued sobriety and for him to be happy. I think he finally is happy. No more demons or demonesses as it were to bring his world down anymore. Once past most of the grief I thanked God for giving Pete his peace and light...no matter how it turned out.

    I am just rambling now.

    Cathy, Pat, Pam, Darcie & Marie...i love you girls. Thank you so much for this blog. It has helped a lot in the healing over Pete's passing. Yes, thank you so so very much.

    Much love & respect to you ladies. :)

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