A NOTE FROM BRYAN'S FAMILY
Bryan's memorial was held Saturday, January 11, 2014 and attended by over 500 people whose lives he touched over his 26 years. His family thanks everyone who has shared him with us. The outpouring of love and support was beyond our wildest imagination. As a way to keep Bryan alive in our hearts and in our eyes, we have created "Bryan's Smile" in hopes that tragedies like this do not happen again.
You can help in a number of ways:
1, Spread the word- "Like" Bryan's Smile Facebook page and become a friend, visit his website often, and share anything you find there.
2. Message ideas to us so that we can grow.
3. Donate dollars through the website.
4. Learn about depression and addiction and be an advocate to help others.
5. Watch out for one another. Be a friend. Don't exclude people.
6. Become a volunteer for Reality Tour - contact via e-mail if interested
7. Get friends, families, neighbors, and any one who might benefit to attend a Reality Tour with their children to minimize how many youths are affected by drugs.
Smiles from the bottom of our hearts!
Bryan, age 26, was born in Santa Monica, California and was the first born in our family. He grew up going to Sunday School, doing cub scouts and boy scouts and playing little league baseball. He had a baby brother when he was 3 and experienced the divorce of his parents when he was 7. Unbeknownst to us, he had probably been fighting depression since he was a young teen and understandably wanted relief from the pain it caused. It may have started with alcohol or “harmless” marijuana but his self-medicating eventually led to stronger more addictive drugs. Bryan and our family spent many years trying to get him help with the drugs. He would do well for a while and then he would fall again. We did not realize it was the depression driving his addiction and then the addiction controlling him. Everyone blamed the drugs. Depression was a minor issue, the professionals told us.
For the last few years, he had worked hard to get his life back. Bryan was going to the gym, sometimes 6 days a week. He had regained pride in his car, himself and his condo. He was working full-time at his dad's accounting firm and had his eye on getting a B.S. degree in Computer Science. He got a 98% as his final grade in his computer class this past semester and bragged to all of us about it with his sly smile. On December 30, he had gotten his car smog tested and renewed the registration of his infamous Mustang. He had signed up for another class and we were discussing helping him go back to school full-time. He had every intention of starting fresh in 2014.
Holidays are emotionally hard sometimes, especially if you are feeling alone. Even though he had family within minutes by car or seconds by phone, for reasons we will never understand, Bryan felt alone. His history of self medicating took over. In the past, he had always thought he was smarter than the drugs. We know that Bryan's death was accidental. He just didn't want to feel the pain. Sadly, this is not a unique story. That is why we, his family, created Bryan’s Smile, a nonprofit that will grow from infancy as Bryan did.
If you know anyone that may be having a similar life story, we hope you will reach out to them. Try to get them to understand that you care. Have them look at Bryan's Smile. We are trying to prevent this ending from happening to others. We need your help.