Seeking advice/help

I found this site by accident. I am hoping someone out there could help with some advice and or support suggestions. In return I hope to be able to assist someone else.

My life was wonderful, I had it all. A wonderful husband 4 beautiful healthy children, 8 amazing grandchildren a job I love, a nice house. My husband and I travel all over the world.
Then it all fell apart, Friday morning June 28, 2013 5am. We awoke to the loudest banging on the front door. A police detective was at the door and informed us that our 25 year old son passed away. The coroner's finding was a Berry's Aneurysm.
I have been in a fog ever since. I have never been one to cry in public, I only cry alone. Everyone I know tells me how strong I am and how they can't believe how well I am doing. They have no idea how hard it has been. I have been told that everyone in the family should be tested. I want everyone else to be tested. I am terrified to have the test myself. I am afraid that I am the one that caused my sons condition. I am not sure I can deal with that knowledge. But I am the rock of the family, the one everyone else seeks out for support. I can not, not have the test and risk the same fate. There is no one to talk to. Everyone needs me. Is there someplace that I can get advise. I do not have the time to go to meetings I work 50 - 60 hours a week and have a whole family to care for including my now 9th grandchild that was born with complications along with her mom that I just spent the day in the ER with. Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks for letting me vent.

Thank you for your reply Liam,

Intellectually I know all these things, yet my grief gets the best of me. I must clarify that I am not always crying. I really do function very well. This week has been especially difficult. Spending to separate days in the ER one with my mother whom I care for and one with my daughter who gave birth 3 weeks ago. Rushing to the hospital for my daughter brought everything back to me in a big way. She is going to be fine she had a reaction to medication. Most of my comments have come from the stress of the week. That being said I do need to figure out how to deal with all the feelings I have. I also need to figure out how to enjoy life again with out guilt. That's very hard to do.

It has only been 3 months I am giving myself time, but I hope I know better than to wait too long. That's why I thought I would try this site. Not even sure if this is the right place but it is a start.

My other children are all willing to be tested and have their children tested. They understand the importance of it. I do also. I will have the test relatively soon. It just scares me, not for my own mortality but because it will bring on a whole new set of feelings.

I apologize for being so long winded. I just have many thoughts I have not allowed myself to express. Thank you for taking the time and the support.


hi penny, welcome -I hope we can help. Please accept our sincere condolences, it is so hard to part with family. Vent away as often as you like-that's partly why we are here . As a sah survivor I urge you to have the test done- you are on the right path. Life will be wonderful again- you are early in the grieving process, soon the "fog" you're in will pass as you realize it's what your son would have wanted and the hurt subsides and this is my prayer for you. Also I think the "rock" needs some Penny time-I hope you get great support and do something nice for yourself, Bless you and yours~~

Hi Ron and thank you for your support.

This week has been hard. Facing the possible mortality of one of my children for the 3rd time this year really hit me. The same daughter had complications during delivery of her daughter 3 weeks ago. They both had a rough few days. The drive to the ER on Thursday was so scary I knew I could not loose another child. Thank goodness with the proper treatment she went home and is doing well. On the up side I was able to spend some real time with my new grand daughter.

I am hoping to get me time soon. I know I need it. One of the problems with that is my husband is keeping very close tabs on me. Not in a creepy way, he is just concerned, I try not to let him see too much of how I feel so he will not worry. I have had one day to myself. I just left the house and drove to the beach.

I feel very strange admitting how I feel to complete strangers. In one way it is very freeing and also very weird. I feel like I could just write forever there are so many things to sort out. I apologize for my ramblings. Sometimes there are so many things I want to get out I have trouble completing a thought.

Last week we were on vacation. It had been planned for over a year and already paid for. I don't think I would have planned one at this time but we went. We took some of our grandchildren to Disney World there was no way I could disappoint them. So here we were in the middle of the happiest place on earth and I started to cry for no reason. I am not sure if I felt guilty that we were there or if it was the fact that it was the last vacation my son Bryan and I took by ourselves. I have always taken each of my 4 children on separate adventures. Time for just them and I. Now I am so very grateful for those trips. I felt like an idiot just standing there crying. My husband took the children off to look at something while I composed myself. I do not want them to remember me as the weepy old lady they did not want to be around.

I would love to get back to the laughing, giggling up for anything Grammy they are used too. Wow I hope my post get shorter or no one will want to read them.

One of the reasons I am seeking help here is that my son would be so very mad at me for being upset. He could never stand to see mommy upset. I can hear him telling me to cut it out or he will tell grandpa, just like he used to when he was younger. I can't think of anything he hated more than seeing me up set.

Wow I sound very selfish on here, this response is all me and I. It may be time to stop here. I hope I look back on these soon and wonder what was I thinking.

Again thank you for letting me vent, just writing some of this down actually helps.

Hi Penny good to see you here sharing! yes writing does wonders, it helps us to understand ourselves and deal with issues, things will improve because you have that desire and with a few adjustments and time you will all heal, hang in there Penny, keep writing and stop by the chat room if you'd like!

Good Morning Penny, Wow, you have been through the biggest and the wortst!! Liam and Ron both have the best advise. As a sah survivor myself, I know i would never want my family to suffer as you are but hopefully, time and friends will be of help. Do inclulde your husband in the sharring of your grief. He is struggling too I'm sure and needs your help. The last thing you want is for him to feel shut out when you need eachother. I will add your family to my prayer list . I wish you peace today!! Donna w

Please accept my sympathy...I can't even imagine losing a child...I have a girlfriend who lost her son about 6 months has been rough...she has a strong faith and has spent time in group counseling...she Is taking the time to mourn him...but know that she has another son that still needs her and her husband...I wish I had some good advice...but I don' have received many good responses here and I do hope you find some comfort among our survivors...~Thoughts out to you ~ Colleen

I am very sorry for your loss and my mother would have been just as lost as you are. I was 24 when I had my ruptured aneurysm and the only reason I survived was that I was working at a hospital and a heart surgeon just happened to be walking by when I went into a grand mal seizure. If it wasn't for those reasons, I would not be on this board and my family would be in pain.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and just know that he is at peace.

On a side note, my sister's boyfriend recently suffered from an AVM (same thing as a brain aneurysm just a different location) and when he woke up with the worst headache of his life, my sister called 911 and got him to a hospital and the Doctor's saved his life. It gives me hope that someone was saved by my experience and letting everyone know about what your son had will maybe save the life of someone too.

Thank you Alex,

This site been a great help already. I know it will take time. I am happy to hear that your family was lucky that you were in the right place with the right people around you. It was very scary to hear that others in the family could possibly have the same condition as my son. It helps a great deal to know if anyone does it does mean the end for them. I hope to get involved in the foundation or something similar so maybe my loss will not be in vain. I hope you continue to recover and have a wonderful life.


Thank you Donna,

My husband is the only one that ever sees me at my worst. He held me many nights while I let go and even had to pick me up off the floor at the funeral home. Most of those days are gone now. I don't want to shut him out it's more I do not want him to worry. If it were not for him I am not sure I would have come this far. I have many friends and family I have come to rely on. I can not thank everyone on this site enough for the help and support.



Thank you I have to either find or make the time to heal myself. I have spent most of my time taking care of my family. I am grateful that my girls and all of their children still need me. They have kept me busy and given me so much joy even though this awful time. In many was I am very fortunate. My son Bryan did not suffer at all and if it had to be that is the best I can ask for. I have so many memories of him, we both made sure we spent a lot of time together. I know my family will get through this and hopefully be even closer.


Hello - I'm so sorry to hear this. Vent away and share - it does help. I do think getting everyone tested is the most proactive thing to do - fear of the unknown can be very overwhelming. Cry when you feel like crying - alone and with others. Everyone grieves differently and it's perfectly okay to do so alone or with trusted friends and family. It is also okay to fall apart once in a while - you are human. However you let it out - I hope you do let it out - it isn't good to over-stress the human body. Do not EVER blame yourself for your son's death - it was a horrible twist of fate. Yes, annies do have a genetic component - but that is only one factor. About 8 years ago my life fell apart too - my middle child was diagnosed with Schizoprenia and my life and his life changed dramatically. The grief brought me literally to my knees at times - I just sobbed my heart out for the loss of the child I'd raised and his potential. It took me 5 years to fully accept what had happened to my beloved child. It was like the old person he was had died and this new person in my life was very different. I had to become an advocate for the mentally ill overnight. The worst thing in my life was people who told me he was 'going through a phase' and 'he needs to pull his socks up' The ignorance about his disease was like a slap in the face. I wondered if there was anything I could have done to prevent it - it was a terrible time. He lives with me now and is functioning at a very limited level. Well I have to get ready for work. You have come to the right place for support. All the best.

You sound like a very wonderful mother, loving and caring and kind. Do not be afraid of the unknown - the knowing makes it easier, not worse. Knowing ahead of time that you have an aneurysm means there's time and opportunity for treatment. Having one is not necessarily a death sentence - and having the opportunity to find one before it ruptures is a blessing. Perhaps in your son's death another member of your family will be saved. That sounds awful, but you have to see the good in it. And what greater sacrifice is there than giving one's life to save another's? The bottom line is - if you can be tested, and you can know you have one before it ruptures, you can have it treated and be better off than having not known and having it rupture, which you already know can cause death, but not always. Lots of survivors here suffered a rupture, sah (subarachnoid hemorrhage). They live with deficits and this site is a way to group together and share their experience and feel normal again. I was fortunate to have found my aneurysm by accident so to speak, and did not have a rupture, and I am more than thankful for that. The spectrum of aneurysm survivors is broad - and this site will guide you and support you in any way you need. And as for venting - bring it on. That's the meat of this site. Saying the hard stuff and realizing there are other people in the same boat. And clinging to one another in times of hardship and finding hope to press on. I hope you find some grief counseling as well, maybe another website like ours for that aspect of your life, but stay here too. We'll listen, any time. Don't feel weird - this is a strong group of survivors and we know how to cheer one another on in the dark days. You are a survivor too, and you are welcome here.

Thank you for your kind words. I have just on this site again. It is wonderful to see all of the support.

Good to see you Penny how r u doing...? wishing you a good day ~ colleen

Hi Penny,

I cannot imagine how horrendous and out of place this must've been like the morning the cops/coronor showed at your doorstep... what a nightmare...

In terms of aneurysm genetics:...I think I'd be more concerned initially about making sure the other offspring of you and your husbands are tested first off, as their genetically very close to your son , obviously...but regarding you and you being tested..well, it is what it is, right? weather or not you do or don't have an aneurysm (I sure hope you don't of course), is paramount to you being treated before a catastrophic rupture were to up and blind side you--you are the nucleus that holds the family together it sounds like to me, and where would your family be without the glue that hold its all ?? You don't wanna hear this, but you'll have to bite that bullet eventually Penny, and realize this, there is no possible way you could've known or stopped what happened with your son. You have the chance however to stop the madness (if you indeed do have an aneurysm) by being check out..Peace to you and your family, I know this is not easy nor simple.


We are doing well. It is amazing how life has a way of going on, you have to decide to go along with it or stay where you are, I have decided to go on and try to be grateful for all I have and my son who will always be with me. It is hard sometimes but my family is always there to give me support or to tell me to get up and do what Bryan would have wanted. Thank you for checking on me. We are starting next week the process of having MRA's it has taken a while to be able to do it but we know we have to.

Thank you Janet for you honesty,

I have always intended to get tested just afraid to do it. It will not be easy. It will upset me just going but I am doing it for my family. I would never want to be the cause of such pain. We all know we will not live forever but it is our responsibility to be as healthy as possible. I just made my initial appointment today and will be tested as soon after that as possible. This site has been helpful to me.

We just found out this week that one of our grand daughters is Autistic. She is not yet tree, Our house will be the backup place for her to be when necessary. Another reason that we all need to be healthy. As much as I love my son and miss him I know he would want me to care of everyone else, he would have done anything for them.


Well it has been over eighteen months since we lost Bryan. So many things have happened. The family is doing really well and so am I. There are many times it hits us more than others. I was at the dentist the other day and said those awful words(I lost my son) again. And the most miraculous thing happened. I did not break down and cry. Seems simple right. It has been the hardest thing for me. I had to make a choice about my life. I remember the exact moment it happened. My then six year old granddaughter would come over almost everyday after we lost Bryan. She would climb up in my lap, sometimes I would cry, sometimes we would talk. One day she asked me Grammy when will you not be sad anymore? When I was able to answer her I asked her why. Her answer was she missed playing with me. I had to decide at that moment to stay immersed in the loss of my son or live for the family members that are around me.

I still miss him, but I have the most wonderful family. The grandchildren are keeping us busy, with nine of them there is time for little else. We are traveling again and went to Europe over the summer. My husband and I bought the motorcycles we had been waiting for. My house is back in order.

We have been tested and are aneurysm free, everyone is healthy. We have so much to look forward to. Wherever I go I take my son with me, I have the most wonderful memories and even catch myself smiling now when I do something he would have enjoyed, or thinking of him rolling his eyes as I ride away on my bike. I am grateful the last words we said to each other were I love you, even if he was calling them over his shoulder as he ran out of my house smiling headed out for yet another adventure.

I hope everyone on here is able to make the choice I have. Most of the time life is good again. Not to say I don't cry I still I do, but then I get back to it. I attended a service for another young man last night, I have had trouble sleeping all week but, now I know that this too will pass. Thank you all for your support and listening to me. I wish you all peace as you live with your own struggles.