Alexander “Sasha” Matero (1989-2014)

Funeral Monday at 1 p.m.

Alexander Matthew Matero, “Sasha”, died on March 12, 2014 following a long battle with drug addiction. Sasha was born Aleksandr Victorovitch Kuznetzov, on April 21, 1989, in Saratov, Russia.  In 1999, he became a Matero, moved to Cold Spring and was welcomed with open arms by our amazing community. He graduated from Haldane in 2007.  He was licensed in HVAC maintenance.

Sasha is survived by his parents, Jim and Melanie Matero, his siblings, James Matero, Katie Szirmay (Ryan), Kristy Matero (Justin Titley), his grandparents, Jim and Margaret Matero, Robert Myers and Sarah Kerr, a niece, two nephews, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Even while fighting this devastating illness, Sasha never lost his sense of humor or his compassion.  His captivating smile always lit up the room. Our beloved “Little Blond Boy” will own our hearts forever.

Funeral services will take place at 1 p.m, Monday, March 17, 2014 at the First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, 10 Academy Avenue, Cold Spring. Private cremation will follow. Friends are invited to call at the Clinton Funeral Home Corner of Parrott and Pine Streets (21 Parrott Street) Cold Spring on Sunday, March 16 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.

Donations are asked to the Philipstown Food Pantry, 10 Academy Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516.

12 thoughts on “Alexander “Sasha” Matero (1989-2014)

  1. I lost a son today — well, maybe not really mine, but as much mine as I could make him. He was a surrogate son when he was taken in as one of Cold Spring’s own children, adopted by friends who offered him a home and family and loving community to nurture him into manhood.

    Sasha became a child of our community and was both nurtured and loved but also reprimanded and scolded, given boundaries and freedoms, and penalties and punishments. We watched him develop into a young man, making choices both good and poor, learning at a pace that we wished was wiser and more mature, and we waited for the good things in life to take precedence over the darker scarier elements that few recognized he suffered from every day.

    You see, Sasha was sick, sick deep inside where it didn’t show when his face smiled back at you or during his renowned hugs of joy at seeing an old friend. He suffered from depression and he remedied that intense pain with street drugs, wanting only to feel normal and accepted. Sasha, that beautiful young man with dreams of his own, suffered from an illness called addiction.

    There’s a broken family in our town, but there are so many broken families here. We know and acknowledge each other with hugs and quiet words of support, but we hide this illness unlike other illnesses. Other illnesses solicit get-well cards, hospital visits and expectations and solicitations of feeling better, but the pain and illness of addiction both for Sasha and his family, for so many of our families, isn’t one that was readily or easily shared.

    Sasha’s addiction was an illness –- and his future was decided by the poor choices he made that helped him survive his pain. But it’s an illness that dictates drugs as a starvation survival mechanism. It’s easy to judge Sasha’s behavior as a legal issue — and getting help while keeping his illness confidential, getting help in grasping for an understanding on the mechanisms that insurance allows, was a race. He died during that race, while waiting for a cure –- believing it was there, somewhere nearby, within his grasp.

    And as long as our community looks back at Sasha and sees only another street kid who died of an overdose, rather than a young adult with a cherubic face and golden hair who had a dream of surviving and growing into old age, but who couldn’t find a way through the broken maze of help -– then we have all failed to nurture one of our own.

    And if that is all we can individually do, then we can each only wait for another casualty, another child, another young adult in our community to lose their way, and believe that it can’t happen to our child, our family.

    I lost a son today – but then again, we all did.

    • So beautifully put and on point. We must never judge nor look down upon the addicted, it truly is a disease where there is no cure, only a daily reprieve through the support and fellowship of one addict helping another. We don’t collect cards — we count days, one at a time, some days an hour at a time, until we are free of the obsession and compulsion to use; then we find God’s grace to help others as we become happy, joyous and free. Recovery is a process, don’t quit before the miracle happens.

  2. My heart is breaking for Sasha and his family. Thank you Sylvia and Mark for your heartfelt accounts of this tragic disease. I hope people will read and understand the struggle of an addict.

  3. I too, lost with you. Respectable, happy and always interested in whatever the discussion way. My deepest feelings are for the family.

  4. What a beautiful tribute, Sylvia. Thank you for allowing those of us who did not know Sasha, but care deeply about the troubles that affect so many like him, to see the good that resided within him. Maybe if we all try to focus on nourishing and celebrating the beauty we know live in those who suffer this disease, we can ease that pain that drives them toward addiction. Judging is easy. Searching for the good is the hard part, but affords us all a better chance at turning things around.

  5. Tears in my eyes and heartfelt prayers for the Matero family. Sasha made his way into all our hearts. There but for the grace of God goes any one of us.

  6. Such a sad, tragic end to a tale that began with such high hopes for him and his new American family. Many have recounted such very nice things about this young man, whose life was perhaps invisibly darkened by drugs and the addictive culture that surrounds us all, including not only drugs (including alcohol, of course), but also food, sex, speed, power and money, etc. His losing his life to dark influences is sharply felt by my wife, Linda, and me, because as it chanced in our lives, we never got to know Sasha. So while we did happen to share certain experiences, we now find we can but grieve for him, for all the Materos and for us, as part of his extended family. Young as he was, he is gone, yet we all remain.

  7. Extremely saddened by the news of Sasha’s death. Although I did not know him other than a brief period where he worked at Le Bouchon and in seeing him around town, he seemed to be a very sweet young man. Taken too soon. My prayers go out to his family. R.I.P.

  8. RIP Sasha – you were loved and you loved in return; nothing is more important in life than that. I will always remember the beautiful blonde boy whose smile could warm the coldest of hearts. Melanie, Jim, kids — my heart aches for your loss and sadness. And I know you would do this all again without hesitation. A moment of sadness and pain never can compare to the billion trillion moments of joy, love and sweet memories.

  9. I am so saddened by the loss of Sasha. I watched him achieve adulthood and it leaves me with an empty heart. My hopes for this beautiful young man have been crushed by this cruel illness. The loss of a “child” is painful and deeply affects the family and community. May Sasha find peace. For the Matero family, my prayers, support and our thoughts be with you.

  10. Thank you Sylvia Wallin for the beautiful tribute to Sasha. I will remember him as the little blond boy with the huge smile that grew up with my son. They spent hours riding bikes through the streets of Cold Spring. There was Little League, Boy Scouts and sleepovers. All the things that little boys do, they did together. Sasha was a child of this community and he could have been any of our children. My heart breaks for the Matero family and I’m proud of them for their honesty and thankful to them for sharing Sasha’s struggles with us all. Rest in peace Sasha.