A Story of Addiction & Loss

Tag: bad sober living homes

Your Legacy

Matt,  when I was made aware of how and why you died, I knew I had to do something to prevent another from suffering your fate.

Knowing that your death was preventable lit a fire in my gut and gave me the courage to fight the broken system of sober living homes that played a large part in your death. 

After finding out that the operator of your so called sober home had no license or certification to even open a sober home I was completely blow away.  So in reality he operated a boarding house, preying on the vulnerable population that you were part of.  For $200 dollars a week you got nothing.  No peer support, no meetings, no supervision, just a bed in a room you shared with other men.  

The operator did whatever he wanted.  Kicking people out in the middle of the night with nothing but the clothes on their back.  And with you dropping you off at a motel after you relapsed at 2:30 in the morning knowing you were in distress.  It was just too much trouble for him to call 911, take you to an Emergency Department or a treatment facility. 

He had no one to answer to as he played God with the lives of those living in his facility.  Sadly, when I did my research I found that this was the norm with sober homes.  Anyone could buy or rent a property and label it a sober home.  There were no certifications or licenses required .  Mind blowing since you have to have a license to cut hair in every state.  I’ve never known of anyone who died from a bad haircut!

During my advocacy work, I’d been involved with working on 6 bills all having to do with Substance Use Disorder and how it’s treated in Delaware.  I knew that Sober Homes needed to be licensed and regulated.  I knew the operators must be held accountable by a governing body to protect the individual’s living in the homes.

Our Bill was born in a Bob Evans restaurant after I requested a meeting with a House Representative to discuss my research.  Like me she was appalled at how Sober Homes operated and agreed that we needed to enact legislation to prevent this industry from taking advantage of vulnerable people.

This Bill was first drafted in 2019.  Being derailed by my cancer diagnosis and then Covid.  It was supported, then not supported.  Funded, then not funded.  I felt like I was back on that roller coaster like I was when you were in your active addiction.  

I knew I could never give up, so I kept advocating, reaching out to both the House and Senate telling your story and sharing my research.  I started to feel like it would never happen.  I thought it was a lost cause and I was going to have to live knowing there would be many more Matt’s who would suffer your fate.  

One day my phone rang with the news I had prayed for.  Finally, after 3 years of back and forth, the Bill had gained enough support to be brought before the House for a vote.  I remember sitting there.  I remember my heart beating so loud I could barely hear anything being said.  The vote was a unanimous yes!  I remember feeling like I was dreaming as the congratulatory hugs enveloped my heart. 

The next week we were before the Senate.  Once again my heart was racing as I sat silently praying the members would feel the passion I felt regarding my Bill.  I remember holding my breath as the voting started, closing my eyes feeling the tears run down my face.  One by one I heard yes, yes, yes.  Another unanimous vote. 

My dearest son, my beautiful boy, the Matthew D. Klosowski Act was signed into law by our Governor on August 1st, two days after your birthday.  As I stood next to the Governor and watched him sign our Bill into law, I could picture your smiling face.  As the cameras flashed and the clapping began, all I could think of was you.  

This Bill is your legacy.  Your name and story will forever be remembered.  My gift to you for all the world to see.  Until we meet again.  All my love, Mom  




Justice For My Beautiful Boy

Matt, it’s been 32 months and 27 days since you left my life.  Today I’m sitting on a plane heading into my nightmare.  My grief hitched a ride on my chest weighing me down knowing that my trip has nothing to do with joy.  This trip is to defend your life.  To sit in a room with men who believe it was fine to dump you at a hotel in a compromised state letting you die alone.

My soul is shaking as we fly closer to the reality that you won’t be picking me up as I land.   There will be no happy reunion between you and me.   No seeing your handsome face or hearing your voice.   No bear hugs while I sink into your arms feeling the warmth of your love wrap itself around my heart.

I am landing in enemy territory.   I am trying to keep my warrior mask intact but as we get closer I can feel the cracks forming as my fear of facing how you died smacks me like a brutal whip.   Grief and guilt have settled into my soul once again.   The what ifs and I should haves are dancing in my battered brain. Taunting me with what should have been and what truly is our reality.

I stare out the window into the clouds looking for you.   Looking for Jesus.   Searching for a sign on how I will survive this part of our journey.   I dreamed of returning to Florida.   I dreamed of visiting your new life.  Seeing you in recovery living life to the fullest.   I dreamed of walking on the beach side by side as we have so many times in the past.   I dreamed of what your future would hold as a husband and then a father.

These dreams now something that will never see reality.  Scattered like the ashes after a fatal fire in a fast moving wind.   I chase after the torn fragments of our life and hold them close to my heart.

Those dreams of what should have been will fuel my fight for justice.   I am here breathing where you took your last breath.   I am here letting my grief wash over me.  I am here gathering the strength to stand up to those who wronged us both.   I am here to defend my precious son.   I am here to tell the world your life was worth saving.   I’m here to let the world know I will never be silenced 💔💔💔IMG_1277

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