22 year old daughter died suddenly and unexpectedly

Hi I could really do with some help.
I was the very lucky mum of 3 children, my eldest Hannah at 22 lived at home and was studying to be a Geography teacher and was excelling at her training. Amy is 20 and taking a break from studying before applying to Uni to be a paramedic and my youngest Matthew is 17 and in his first year if A levels. The 5 of us (including my hubby) are all very close and I am privileged to have an amazing bond with my kids.
I had gone to work on 20th Feb this year as normal and left everyone at home still in bed. Half an hour later I had a frantic call from Amy and Matt telling me to get home as Hannah was not breathing and an ambulance was on its way.
I got home in less than 10 minutes as luckily I dont work far away and arrived to a mass of ambulances and then police and doctors all trying to resuscitate my beautiful girl but to no avail. The PM a fortnight later found she had suffered a large ruptured cerebral aneurysm that caused a subarachnoid haemorrhage and would have killed her instantly.
I cannot get over the loss of my beautiful girl and every day is getting so much harder. How can I go on without her? She was my best friend and a such a loving girl. She was happiest with me chilling or spending time doing things together. She had a lot of friends who cared so much about her and a very full life but loved me so very much. Being in lockdown is making it harder to come to terms with it too. I know I am so very lucky to have Amy and Matt and love them and worry about them so much too especially as they found Hannah in the bathroom and Amy had to do CPR on her sister. They are struggling as much as me and her dad are.

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Dear Anne64
I’m so sorry you’ve lost your beautiful daughter and I wish I could say something to help - I do know your pain. It’s agonising and seemingly relentless. You will all be in shock and feeling utter disbelief at Hannah’s death.

I lost my younger son Henry, last October. He was just thirty. Henry had some mental health issues and took recreational drugs on occasion. It seems he accidentally overdosed and his death has left such a void in our whole family.

Ten weeks after Henry’s death, just after Christmas, his cousin Oli committed suicide. Oli was thirty two, married with two beautiful daughters. His mother was fighting to live as she had stage 4 breast cancer which had spread to her lungs. She had to bury her lovely boy and then in March she contracted Covid19 and it killed her. We were hoping we had many more months with her.

So in six months we have had three terrible bereavements. Due to the restrictions on movement most of the family couldn’t attend my sister in law’s funeral. We haven’t come together as a family which is awful.

So can I offer any words of comfort? I don’t know, but I can say we’re all so grateful and privileged to have had Henry, Oli and Sheela for so long.

Each of them had so much love in their hearts and we live each day with that love.

Take each hour at a time…I find meditating helps me, I use the Headspace app. Be kind to yourselves and take any offers of help. Don’t feel bad about talking yourself round in circles…keep sharing thoughts and feelings. I’m learning to live without my son and it’s the hardest thing in the world :cry: but I’ve another son, stepchildren and grandchildren. Life is a precious gift which I’m trying to appreciate. Keep posting and you will get lots of support here. Once again, my heart breaks for you all.

Love and hugs


Thank you so much Purple and I am so sorry for the losses in your family. I am finding it unbearable and really find it so hard not having her hugs and hearing her voice. She was the noisy one of the family and our house is so quiet. My other daughter Amy has lost her best friend and her other half - they were like twins and always in each others heads and shared same sense of humour. We are all doing our best to take tiny steps and taking each day at a time. If I think too far ahead I feel like I will go insane.

It does change in that at the beginning I thought about Henry 24/7. Then slowly and not consciously I had spells when I could function and could be distracted. The good spells are increasing but when I feel the pain, it’s just the same as the day he died.

Everyone seems to deal with grief differently but our pain is the same. I’m so desperately sorry for your other children and I know myself that having them does not in any way “make it easier or fill the gap”. Your lives like ours are changed forever. I was so close to Henry as you were to Hannah, it’s a complete tragedy- however we have to learn to live with it. We can and we will.
We were so fortunate to have had them :heart:
Wishing you peace and love Anne64. X

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Dear Anne.
My heart goes out to you and your family. What a deep and sudden loss you have experienced. I can only imagine how you must feel. When I joined this online community, it was because I had lost first my dad and then my mum and those losses had a huge impact on my life, but using a child much feel so much worse. I have a son who is 18 and I love him so much, it is impossible to think how I would cope with losing him. I hope that you will receive responses from more parents like Purple who have gone through this and can give you comfort and support from their own experience.
It sounds like you, your husband and your children are a very loving, close-knit family and it is indeed a great privilege to have such an amazing bond with them. You will each have so many memories of Hannah, and you will each probably grieve in your own personal way, as well as together.

There is an organisation that specifically supports families who lose a child, including adult siblings. This may be something that could be helpful for you either now or in the future. You can find more info here:

Sending you a big virtual hug.

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Thank you both so much for your replies, Purple and Jo64. I really appreciate the support and advice and send hugs and best wishes to you both for your continued healing xx

HI, JUST READ YOUR POST ABOUT YOUR DAUGHTER. I lost my son Luca last july on his 21 st bithday. He had ulceative colitus which gave him liver disease for four years. No treatments every he was prescribed for it did nothing for him atall. We were put under Addembooks in Cambridge, he was on last lot of meds which was self injecting every six weeks. He was having constant irion infusions and bloods done every 2 wks, along with cameas down his throat and the other end . His legs had started to carry fluid this was from his liver , last april his legs,feel and chest were in a bad way persuaded him to go to a@e. We were admitted as he was also having trouble holding a sentance together getting out of beath. After being in our local hosp for 8 days we wee admitted to Addenbrooks. Afte being on liver wad for 4 days he got a lung disease and we wee put into isolation fo 2 weeks. Eventually he had a shunt put through his neck and a stent into his liver as the blood was not getting through it properly and lots of blood veins had grown of his liver trying to travel round his body. His swelling wne down for 4 days then reappeared. He was on constant drips,etc. He fell while in their and they found he had 2 fractured vertbae, he was in a great deal of pain this occured from being on steriods over the years. he then finally for his complete bowel r emoval and a stoma bag fitted. We were in critical care for 4 days, i never left his side as he had anxiety. i often slept thee in a recliner chair next to him. Would arrive 7 in morn andn leave ten in eve if not staying. They said his bowel was in a terrible way but he was now pleased to have the bag to give him better quality of life. He was also down for a liver transplant. He was still swollen we would go for walks in a wheelchair when he was up to it. We were let home after 3 mths and so excited, he had lots of appointment for checkups, on his spine to and for more cardioechograms. It was a stuggle getting home but we did it. On the 5th day his 21st he was quite unwell,and sick i called doc out. She called ambulance, we waited ages, he had cold hands and feet, i held his hand on sofa and he fell asleep on my shoulder. Off we went, they hooked him up indoors before we left. Went straight into resus, they were pulling him to bits, drips, etc. They said they would scan him as his scar was infected from bowel op it did not seem to be healing as nor did the 2 drain holes he had in stomach. They said they were taking him upto intensive care , we were taken to a room while they got him settled. Within 3 mins they called us saying Luca had taken tun for worse, we were at the end of his bed by curtain. they were trying to bring him back. For just under 2 hours they kept trying and not one did they get a pulse. They said they tried for so long as he was young , a few times they wanted my husband to call it but he said he could not, i was on the floor. They said he stopped breathing and never came back. No one could understand why, after coronors report and autopsy Luca had died from a very rare heart disease. Giant Cell Myocarditus. It is so rare it is only detected after death by samples from heart. They said if he had come back he would of also needed heart transplant. He never had an immune system from colitus/crohns and the lung disease just took over and his body and organs were to week to fight it. It was a complete shock wee were all exited for the future and were making plans. I am completly broken he was my friend as well as my son, he never complained and only broke down once in hosp in 3 mths. I just cannot stand life without Luca, i too call him my beautiful Luca. He was a great kind person. I will never get over this and if it was not for my husband i would not be here. I cry so much for him so many times every day and yes it gets worse. I cannot help you with anything grieve is so personal to each individual but i am living your pain. I just exit and i hate life, Luca should be here living and seeing life and i just have no words. hug xxxx


Dear Anne64
I’ve been thinking about you and your family this week- especially I think because you said Hannah was the loud one…Henry was the boy who was loud, in stark contrast to his brother. He was so full of energy and life… when he was properly medicated that is. I understand the silence that Hannah’s passing has left…the space they occupied seems vast. I’m trying to fill that space with happy memories of Henry but it’s a struggle. :cry:

Sending you all a hug.
Purple x

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Thank you Purple and Tonia.
I am sorry I haven’t replied sooner but i’ve just had a difficult few days and it is slowly sinking in how this is real and Hannah has gone. I still cant believe I am writing those words.
I feel so sorry for those members whose children (like Tonia) who has suffered for so long. In some respects we are so fortunate that we, and Hannah, were at least spared that. However the suddenness and how unexpected it was has totally blown my mind and I feel like my brain is in complete shutdown.
As you said Purple the quietness is so unreal for our family and it is so apparent that there is a huge part of our family that is missing.
How do we find it in us to keep going and to find a purpose to our lives - I feel terrible saying thatvas I am lucky to have her siblings Amy and Matthew to keep us going. Love and hugs to you for your loss Purple xxxx

Dear Anne64
I hope you are managing to rest as sleep can be so elusive. It does feel like a bomb’s gone off in your family doesn’t it.
I still think of Henry as soon as I wake and I always say goodnight to him each night. I can honestly say though I don’t have the gut wrenching agony…not immediately. I have found that I can distract myself. There are times I want to think about my son and I do and I know I will weep for all I’ve lost. Then I shake myself out of it and I hope this comes to you all in time.
Not for a minute will we forget but I long for the day that I think of Henry and I feel peace. I’m so grateful to have had him, to have his brother and my grandson too. A wonderful boy who has to live the rest of his life without his Dad.
None of us should have lost our children- it’s so very wrong. I hope your days slowly feel less painful.
Sending love to you all including Hannah.

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Dear Anne64

I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.
I lost my brother in Aug 2019. I returned from work-first day back after the summer holidays- and took my boy to visit his grandparents- they live across the road from us.
We sat having coffee and a catch up and my Mum discovered my brother had died in bed.
I have such immense feelings of guilt that we were sat chatting and he was lying upstairs. Sadly the PM was inconclusive and classed as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome(SADS)

I am also finding lockdown hard. Too much time for quiet. Too much time alone with my thoughts and they are all about him and replaying that day.
I cant begin to imagine how it feels to lose a child. My heart breaks for my own Mum and Dad and for you.
If you ever want to talk please contact me.
Keeping you in my thoughts x

Anne, i am in the same position as you. Although Luca was ill, death was never on the cards at any time. It was never spoken off at any stage. We have been back to the hospitals several times and they all say Luca was the first patient they had lost and could not believe it. Even when he was rushed back in on the day he passed he was up and talking being pulled to pieces. It should just not of happened and i still cannot believe it you just cannot describe the pain and disbelief of this. Its so unfair. I say my house is not a home any more just a house, its quiet, everything seems empty and sureal. I am desperate to hold him and see him it hurts so bad. I am a complete mess, I still think its not real and this happens to others not me,not us, without my husband i would not be here. love to you all xxxx

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I am so very sorry to read about your daughter, loosing a child is the worst thing anyone can go through. My daughter was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer last October and passed away one month later, she was in the process of building her dream home with her husband and 3 children so they were all living with us when she became I’ll, her husband and children are still here and although the children have given me comfort and the need to carry on I feel I’m letting my daughter down as things are getting out of control, their dads letting them get away with so much, and he’s already met someone else, some days(or especially nights) I don’t think I can carry on, I know I will as I couldn’t put my loved ones through more grief and as others have said all you can do is take one hour at a time

Tonia, I came on this site as I have recently and suddenly lost my mother. Your story of your son has made me cry. My young son (6) was diagnosed with crohn’s at 4 (but should have been diagnosed at 2 due to fistulas).
I am so sorry for all of your losses on this post. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see people loosing their children. I can not imagine the pain xxx

Lisa thankyou . I cannot believe i am in this situation, Luca was my friend as well as my son we had a fantastic relationship. He was looking forward to a better future . I am completly broken and a mess. Have any meds worked for your son?. No meds ever worked for Luca in the four years he had it which led to him b eing so weak, no immune system and destroying his liver with p.s.c. Please please if nothing is working for your son dont let it linger and push for a stoma bag. Luca had to have his complete bowel removed as it was so bad for hm, accidents and blackingout lots. He never complained if anything played it down as he hated hospitals etc. I hope as your son is young he will find meds working for him and go into reimission which Luca never had. This disease did lead to him dying of giant cell myocarditus,rare as it was. I long for him so bad no words can explain it. I know you are hurting for your mum. hug to you xxxx

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He is doing really well on Aza and adulimumlab at the moment. They are not the drugs you want to put a young child on but he is currently running around the house and riding his bike up and down the drive.
My mum was my rock throughout all his diagnosis and hospital treatment and I terrified of having to do it all without her. I am hoping she will keep him safe xxx

thats great news, Luca was diagnoised at 16, he was poorly from the start and was on lots of steroids which fractured two of his vertibrae last year. I often wonder what he would of been like now with his stoma bag and having no more accidents. Sounds like your son is doing well and plenty of energy. Wish you well. You will do it , you are his mum, you will be strong for him as i was with Luca throughout it all and very protective. He had to stop working and was at home for four years with me doing lots for him, lots of hospital visits, bloods done every two weeks. iron infusions, camera down his throat and behind which he despised. But we would make a joke of it, he never complained and i desperatly years for him, It just became our life for four years and last year 3 mths in hosp, i never left his side and slept there lots. Never in a million years did me and his dad think this would happen at any point . I awaiting post traumatic stress therapy, had councelling but stopped did not like it. My husband looks after me really well otherwise i would not be here, i hate it. I wish you well. hug xxxx

I’m so sorry for all your losses, I to lost a son 6 month ago died of Caron dioxide , worse thing in my life, the pain and emptiness , Daniel was in Spain , he was coming home very soon, the night before he died he was in the phone so happy he was coming home for Christmas , but never did, sometimes I just feel I don’t want to be here and not have this pain anymore, I never could imagine how people feel by losing a child, but I do now, worse then anything in the world and heartache , love to you all Helen x

Hug and love to you to Helen. You just cannot desbribe the pain,yearning for your son daniel and my son Luca to others who have not lost a precious child its unbeareable. I say i dont want to be here just so i do not have to feel the pain and not seeing Luca living here too with us. Its so unfair,like Daniel,Luca left hosp full of hope for the future and happy ,i am crying typing this to you. tonia xxxx

I feel for you, just so hard , just don’t no what to do anymore with my life without him best wishes Helen x