Sunday, April 24, 2011

Love Lost

Saturday night, I received a phone call from a friend, an old roommate of Evan's whom I love, but rarely speak to. He sounded strange and then started to say things like, "I wanted to make sure you knew...something has happened." Honestly, it is all a blur. But he finally said it, "Briana died tonight." I didn't believe him and rushed him off the phone to call her soul sister, midwife partner, and adopted mother/best friend, Cathy. While I was dialing, I reached over pushed Evan hard on the shoulder and shouted, "WAKE UP!" It was right before 9 pm, and he had been asleep since 7:30, because Friday night, he had stayed up all night to finish his labs for physic.

Evan sat bolt upright, seemed crazed, and said, "What? What?" I snapped, "Bri is dead! And I'm on the phone." I see it now as not my most calm, peaceful, and supportive spousal moment. But I do know that without raising my voice and speaking sharply, Evan does not wake up.

He came round the bed and sat with me as Cathy said slowly. "Hi Holly." I said that I had heard something--"It's true." We spoke of details and whom needed to be notified. I offered help if needed. I was sent to inform my best mother friend--whose location actually informed the decision to rent our house---who is also 35 weeks pregnant and expecting Briana to deliver her baby at the end of the month.

I informed Evan of my mission, rushed out the house and left Evan to cry alone and make phone calls of his own to make sure people were informed. While waiting for my friend, I also made phone call after phone call. Everyone that I spoke to, and myself included, all reacted with surprise and incredulity.

Briana was my midwife with Aiden. The one who healed me in so many ways. The one who---where do I begin and what do I say---I've posted about Bri and my feelings for her here and here. She was also an old BYU friend of Evan's and my confidant for years. She nurtured and looked after me when I was facing problems in my pregnancy with Kyle and after with the trauma of that birth. When Kyle was first born and Evan and I wanted to go out and do something, we went to Bri and  Frances'. We were always welcome. I loved to be around her. I always felt so special to call her my friend and be able to converse with her.  

I feel lost, as a friend stated in an email to me today. "I am heartbroken. I am overwhelmed by how sad this is." Cathy, Bri's soul sister, posted about Bri on her blog today. She uses this quote:

". . . one ship. The starboard engine has gone. I, the port engine, must chug along somehow till we make harbour."
from "A Grief Observed" C.S. Lewis

I am unsure how to proceed with my life now. I am unsure how I can ever be pregnant or birth again without Bri. I have nothing elegant to say, nothing profound to include. I feel like my breath is caught in my throat. It has been a crazy day of feeling normal, laughing, making jokes, doing Easter egg hunts, and then being overwhelmed, crying, and wanting to sink into the ground. I am sure there are people who knew her better---but I love Bri, love her hard and strong. 

How can such an angelic, beloved Spirit be gone? It's unfathomable. I have never met anyone so Christlike, so tender, understanding, unselfish, patient, and charitable in my life--and I do not say these things lightly. Words fail to explain how dearly she will be missed or how much the world truly lost. 
I do know that she is being embraced on the other side. That she is at peace. That she will be doing her midwifery work on the other side by sending babies. I do know that this Easter season, I have gained a greater understanding of the atonement and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is our Savior. Our Redeemer. In life and in death, in pain and joy. Thru everything. The plan of salvation is real, and although we hurt and miss her---we can find comfort through the Spirit although the time frame still eludes me. 

I did not know what I would say when I started this. What I could say that hadn't been said better or more eloquently than what I'd said. After I finished this, I found Frances' post on her blog. It sinks deep into my soul and all I can say is that again, much like today Frances made me laugh and then cry. Especially at the placenta, I'd been there when Bri was doing that another time---it is gross.Frances is a wonderful writer by the way, Evan just stated he hopes she outlives him so she can write something profound and well written then as well.
Click to see the KSL new report on her accident.


Mallory said...

That is so sad. Even though I don't have the heartache and the hurting that you do it makes me feel grateful for the Atonement and how its' healing power can bring peace back into our hearts. My thoughts and prayers are with you! Hugs

Ami, Joel, and Dane said...

I'm sorry that you've lost such a loved person in your life. I think I met her once or twice, but I know how much she meant to you, that this is a tragic loss. I feel like there's been a lot of sadness this Easter season, but the timing makes me appreciate the power of the Atonement and resurrection all the more. Let me know if we can help somehow. Watch the boys during the memorial or something. This is a sad thing to learn.

Sarita said...

Oh Holly. When I heard I almost immediately thought of you guys and Frances and how heartbreaking this must be for you. I definitely did not know Bri as well but what I did know of her I loved. My interactions with her left me touched so that while I was pregnant I lamented that our location left us unable to see her as our midwife. She had such a gentle spirit and something that I knew that I wanted in my prenatal care. I have been overcome by the sadness of this all day and what her family must be enduring and led to ponder more deeply the resurrection of our Savior and how she is saved from death through Him. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

kirsten.brooke said...

holly. when i read this post, i just didn't know what words to say. you have the same testimony of life after death that i do. so what more could be said there. but one thought did come to my mind, and that is how wonderful that even though god planned to take her young, that you were able to benefit from her wonderful wonderful personality and receive the healing you so desperately wonderful that you had your baby when you did.

i don't know if that thought helps, but i sure hope that you and all those that loved and knew her, can find strength and hope in the coming days, weeks and months it may take to deal with this tragedy.

i'll keep you in my prayers holly.


Amy said...

So sorry for your loss. She sounds like an amazing person who has influenced your life greatly. What a blessing that is. Your family (and hers) are in my prayers!