Scott Weiland, the singer of Stone Temple Pilots, died late last week after a battle with drug addiction at the age of 48, according to CNN. Weiland was on tour with his current band The Wildabouts and had been in Minnesota at the time of his death. Cocaine was found at the scene, and another band member was arrested for possession of the controlled substance.
Despite these dark details, Weiland's death has been somewhat glorified — and that hasn't sat well with his ex-wife, Mary Forsberg Weiland.
"The outpouring of condolences and prayers offered to our children, Noah and Lucy, has been overwhelming, appreciated and even comforting," Weiland wrote for Rolling Stone. "But the truth is, like so many other kids, they lost their father years ago. What they truly lost on December 3rd was hope."
Weiland wrote that her ex-husband's death has been commemorated and his life glorified for the songs he has performed, even though he didn't always live the greatest lifestyle nor did he do right by his kids.
She detailed how she spent hours calming "his paranoid fits, pushing him into the shower and filling him with coffee, just so that I could drop him into the audience at Noah's talent show, or Lucy's musical."
Even after her husband got remarried, he didn't spend time with Mary Weiland's children, nor did he pay child support, she wrote. Despite his absence, Lucy and Noah still held out hope that their father would return … and yet he never did.
"Noah and Lucy never sought perfection from their dad," she wrote. "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."
If what Weiland wrote about is true, it's not hard to fault her for her concerns. After all, studies have shown that children raised without fathers often struggle in a number of ways, in areas such as academic achievement, social development and overall mental wellbeing, according to The Brookings Institute.
These children are also more at risk for parental abuse, neglect and may even be less likely to graduate from high school and college, according to Brookings.
"Single parents only have one income coming into the house," according to Isabel V. Sawhill of Brookings. "On top of that, single parents often have to spend a greater proportion of their income on child care because they do not have a co-parent to stay home with the child while they work. Even beyond having more income, two parents also have more time to spend with the child."
"These children have been shown to have an increased risk for deviant behaviour and in particular, girls have been shown to be at risk for substance abuse," Dr. Gabriella Gobbi of McGill University told the Daily Mail.
It's because of these reasons that Mary Forsberg Weiland wrote her piece for Rolling Stone. She wants people to understand the importance of caring for children, especially when their fathers are gone.
"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," she wrote for Rolling Stone. "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."