In 1931 my father's mother died of an aneurysm caused by undiagnosed high blood pressure. My father's father took this very hard and remained pretty much intoxicated for the remaining twelve years of his life. My fathers' siblings, three girls and four boys, were thrown into the world - left to fend for themselves. The younger kids were "passed from pillar to post" while the older ones went into the army and/or got married.
My grandfather was not a bad man. He just couldn't figure out a better way to deal with his grief. My family history is full of gaps, gaps that were never discussed. My grandmother's aneurysm was not just a rip in an aorta, it was the ripping apart of my father's family. Most of the kids turned out well. One of the sisters kept marrying alcoholics, one sister died of the very same thing that killed her mother. One of the boys died like his father- drunk. The others lived long full lives, nothing great, but they managed to rear their children to adulthood, and their family circle was not ripped asunder.
The circle can be broken. My grandfather was not a bad man. He just could not get over the loss of his wife, my grandmother.