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Lauri Peterson Experiences ‘Saddest Day’ After Son Josh Waring’s Death

Courtesy of Lauri Peterson/Instagram

Real Housewives of Orange County alum Lauri Peterson continues to mourn the death of her son, Josh Waring.

In a new social media post, Peterson, 63, shared a glimpse into her grieving process by reposting an image of flowers first captured by her daughter, Sophia Waring.

“Saddest day of my life,” Peterson wrote via her Instagram Stories on Thursday, April 11. “The Lord has you in his hand.”

In a separate post, Sophia added, “May you finally be free and at peace Josh.”

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On April 6, Peterson first confirmed the news that her son had died on Easter Sunday. He was 35.

“No one can ever prepare you for this feeling of such deep loss,” Peterson wrote via Instagram on April 6. “Every fiber in my body hurts. Josh fought every single day for most of his adult life, for his life, but this past Sunday, the challenge was too great.”

The former Bravo star continued, “Josh’s childhood was filled with deep intellect, humor, pranks, athletics, snowboarding, body boarding mountain hikes, reading, friends and his love for music. Even during adult hardship, Josh continued to maintain his sense of humor, continued to be optimistic, continued to be kind to others, defended those that were unable to defend themselves and continued to love his family so so much!”

An official cause of death has yet to be revealed, but Josh’s sister Ashley Zarlin believes addiction played a role in his passing.

Lauri Peterson
Courtesy of Lauri Peterson/Instagram

“I lost my brother to the relentless grip of addiction,” she wrote via Instagram on April 6. “It’s a disease that distorts and destroys, leaving behind shattered dreams and broken hearts. He was brilliant and had limitless potential, but addiction veered him off course.”

Peterson appeared on RHOC between seasons 1 and 4. She quit the show in 2008 after Josh was arrested for heroin possession and being under the influence.

“I truly believe drug addiction is a genetic illness. He was predisposed to it, and he has it,” Peterson told the Orange County Register at the time. “Of course, I think the media sensationalized his drug use. I think the inaccurate reports do him injustice. But Josh’s issues were way before the reality shows. He loved doing the show.”


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Since Josh’s death, Peterson has received support from her Bravo costars, including Jeana Keough, Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge and Jo De La Rosa.

“Lauri I am so sorry. This is heartbreaking,” Andy Cohen wrote in the comments section of Lauri’s post. “You tried so hard to save him, and by sharing Josh’s story you would up educating people around the world about the tragedy of addiction for those who are touched by it. May Josh’s memory be a blessing to you always. Sending your family all my love.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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