While the rest of the world mourned Scott Weiland's death on Dec. 3, his former wife and kids simply continued the mourning they'd been doing for years, she notes in a heartbreaking letter in Rolling Stone. "December 3rd, 2015 is not the day Scott Weiland died," Mary Forsberg Weiland writes on behalf of herself, 15-year-old Noah, and 13-year-old Lucy, the two children she had with the ex-Stone Temple Pilots frontman. "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. … The truth is, like so many other kids, [Noah and Lucy] lost their father years ago. What they truly lost on December 3rd was hope." She adds that "this is the final step in our long goodbye to Scott" and that "maybe these last few years of separation were his parting gift to us—the only way he could think to soften what he knew would one day crush us deep into our souls."
Forsberg delves more into those years of separation, noting that although she doesn't want to "downplay Scott's amazing talent," he was an absentee father and "once sweet Catholic boy" who went atheist and suffered from "multiple illnesses." "You might [say] ... 'We read that he loved spending time with his children and that he'd been drug-free for years!'" she writes. "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." But ultimately, she says, there's hope for others, if not for her family. "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," she writes. "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." (Weiland may have relapsed in the days before his death.)