Matt,   When I learned the circumstances of your death, I knew I could never stay silent.   What I really wanted to do was fly to Florida and punch the owner of your shoddy sober home in the face.  I wanted him to hear your name and see the face of your grieving mother and then I wanted to tell him what he told me, “People die here everyday.”   I wanted to look him in his eyes and say well, well, today is your day.  

I can’t put into words what that information did to my soul, but it fueled me into months of research of how sober homes operated.   Months and months of research speaking to advocates from many states sadly revealed that dumping people who have relapsed into the street in the middle of the night with no available help or support was common practice.   Learning this I knew I would never find my peace until laws were passed to protect people at a vulnerable time in their lives.   This became my mission.   These people became my Matt’s.

I became obsessed with this project.  The more I researched, the angrier I became.  To think many sober home operators used people suffering from Substance use as a means of disposable income fueled my desire to put a stop to this evil practice.   How dare anyone treat a human life as it was disposable.   It happened to you and I have to live with that every day.   The only way to find peace was to punish the people responsible.

After I had a folder thick as a phone book containing all the research on sober homes, I called my House Representative.  I asked her to meet for coffee.  When I showed her the folder and shared your story I could see the disgust in her eyes.   Her words were music to my ears.   “We Will Fix This,” became our battle cry.

After almost 5 years of advocating and fighting to get this Bill right, riding the roller coaster from happiness to disappointment, through many challenges and changes HB 114, The Matthew D. Klosowski Act was passed unanimously in both the House and Senate on the very last day of the 2023 Legislative session.   You my beautiful boy were the catalyst that will change the trajectory of how sober homes will be allowed to operate in our state of Delaware forever.

Last week, we were honored as the First State Alliance of Recovery Residences had their certification kick off as they certified a home for women in recovery.   Oh how I wish I could have shared that moment with you.   Senators and House Members were saying your name and sharing your story.   Congratulating me for fighting for so long to get this dream of mine to become a reality.   There will be no more treating people as if their lives didn’t matter.   No more kicking people out in the street to die.   

We were given an award.   Honoring us both.   I fought hard to hold back the tears as I spoke to the crowd.  Oh how I wished it was your face I was seeing among so many people who came to attend the ceremony.   I hope you were there.  I hope you felt my love for you souring through the sky from my heart to yours.   I hope you know how much you are loved and missed.   How time has not made a difference in the void in my heart.  

I can assure you this my beautiful boy,  you have a legacy that will stand the test of time.  Your name is forever in the Law books in our state of Delaware.   One hundred years from now people will look up HB 114 and see your name.   Your story and how your death was not in vain.   How your death fueled my grief to find a little slice of beauty from the brokenness you left behind.   Godspeed until I hold you in my arms, you are forever in my heart.