Bravo Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Orange County

Lauri Peterson Mourns the Death of Her Son, Josh Waring: "Every Fiber in My Body Hurts"

The RHOC alum confirmed the tragic news in a heartbreaking Instagram post that touched on Josh's long addiction battle.

By Joshua Espinoza
Lauri Peterson shares a photo of her son Josh Waring to Instagram

Josh Waring, son of The Real Housewives of Orange County alum Lauri Peterson, has died at age 35.

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of Orange County on  Peacock and the Bravo App.

Lauri confirmed the heartbreaking news in a lengthy Instagram tribute shared on Saturday, April 6, less than a week after Josh’s untimely death. 

“It is with a shattered heart that I write this post to let you know that my sweet Josh left this earth Easter Sunday,” the former ’Wife wrote in the post, which included photos of Josh throughout the years. “No one can ever prepare you for this feeling of such deep loss. 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.”

Lauri Peterson shares a heartfelt tribute to her late son, Josh Waring

Lauri described her son as a “kind” man who enjoyed snowboarding, reading, bodyboarding, hiking, and music. She said Josh had a deep intellect and sense of humor growing up, and “continued to be optimistic” while facing "adult hardships."

"[Josh] defended those that were unable to defend themselves and continued to love his family so so much!" she wrote.

More from Bravo:

Andy Cohen Celebrates RHOC's 18th Anniversary with an Epic Throwback Photo

Lauri Peterson's Granddaughter Kennady Looks All Grown Up in These New Photos

Lauri Peterson Shares an Update on Her Son and Granddaughter: "You Are Surrounded by Love"

Lauri went on to reference Josh’s years-long battle with substance abuse and thanked everyone who tried helping her son “along the way.”

“I am witness to many Angels on earth. Not everyone understands those suffering from substance abuse disorder, but I am forever grateful for your understanding and the impact you made on his life,” Lauri wrote. “I also thank those who have supported me through this journey and offering kind words of encouragement by sharing their stories of living with substance abuse disorder and the many parents that have shared their stories over the years with me about the children they have sadly lost due to this illness.”

Lauri Peterson says her son got so much "joy" from his daughter, Kennady

Josh is survived by his 11-year-old daughter, Kennady, whom Lauri adopted in 2015. The former OC 'Wife continues to raise the young girl alongside her husband of 16 years, George Peterson.

Lauri reflected on Josh's role as a father, saying "he received the most joy, pride and purpose through his daughter Kennady and watching her grow and thrive over the years."

“Josh I love you so much and I will miss you terribly! I will forever be your ‘Mama Bear & Mama Dukes’ and every time the clock turns to 11:11, I will expect your call to tell me to make a wish!” she continued. “What will I wish for now? My heart is with you and I pray you have found the peace that you so deserve. Heaven has gained the coolest angel and you have gained your freedom at last sweet boy. Love always and forever, Mom.”

Housewives and Andy Cohen react to Lauri Peterson's family loss

The post was immediately flooded with condolences, including heartfelt messages from Bravolebrities, like RHOC alums Gretchen RossiJo De La Rosa, and Jeana Keough; as well as The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Eileen Davidson and RHOC executive producer Andy Cohen.

“Lauri I am so sorry. This is heartbreaking,” the Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen host wrote. “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.”

Lauri’s oldest daughter, Ashley Zarlin, also mourned her family loss on Instagram.

“On Easter Sunday, I lost my brother to the relentless grip of addiction,” she wrote in the April 6 carousel, which featured childhood photos of her and Josh. “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…

“I wish for a different outcome with every fiber of my being,” she continued. “I wish I could have done more, been more, to help him find his way back to the light. As I grieve his loss, I cherish the memories of who he truly was, before addiction stole him away. My little brother… Josh, I hope that you’ve finally found the peace you’ve been looking for. You’re no longer in pain, you can rest. I love you.”

Lauri Peterson addresses her son's addiction struggles on WWHL

Lauri on Her Son’s Addiction

Lauri opened up about Josh's addiction battle during a 2019 appearance on WWHL.

"He's struggling. It's not good," she told Andy about her son. "We're in contact, but it's really bad. And, at this point, our government hasn't figured out how to handle addiction. And until they figure out how to treat it like an illness instead of criminalizing it, it's never going to change."

If you are seeking help about your substance use, or know someone who is, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Want the latest Bravo updates? Text us for breaking news and more!