Farewell sweet Bri

by Marc on October 30, 2008

Briana Brownlow 1976-2008

I am so sorry to say that my beautiful and talented wife Bri passed away last Monday at 3:25am. She was having breathing problems and slipped off in her sleep. I am glad she did not have too much discomfort and was able to stay home for the duration as she wished.

Throughout both struggles with cancer, Bri maintained her cheery optimistic attitude and won over everyone that came in contact with her. Kindness and generosity was reflected back to her in many surprising and delightful ways.  Most notably the fundraiser that Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi, Shankari of Stream of Consciousness, Manisha of Indian Food Rocksand Garrett of Vanilla Garlic put on, which was successful beyond our wildest dreams. Later, the hospital waived ER fees and Memorial Hospice of Santa Rosa donated their services free of charge. There were so many people cheering her on. She felt grateful for the continual flood of gifts and loving wishes from everyone around her. You all have my heartfelt thanks for the support you shared however big or small. Your positive encouragement bolstered her strength and determination. Despite all of this, the disease was just too much for her body.

Bri started this blog after she had gone through one bout of cancer treatment and was in remission. It was a labor of love for her. For the first time she felt like she had found her calling. Writing and cooking and connecting with people who shared her passion. Joy is always better shared, and this blog allowed her to share it with countless people around the world.

She loved to nurture others with delicious food and heartfelt conversation. She was particularly fond of introducing people to food they had never tasted before. And loved to watch with glee as they delighted in the wonderful surprise of discovering new flavors. Her ease with people and innate brightness of spirit was a joy to be around. I am honored to have had her presence grace my life. The pain of the loss is tremendous. I am wading through my grief and trying to come to terms with a world without her laughter, but feel comforted that she shared her warmth with me for a while.

I have a favor to ask of all of her readers and friends around the globe.

Life is unpredictable and often shorter than we wish.  When you sit down to eat, take a moment to savor the deliciousness that crosses your palate. Delight in each precious moment of joy, beauty and friendship. We never know how many we will be given.

For the love of all things scrumptious

-Marc

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Manggy October 30, 2008 at 2:22 am

Marc, to your request I give a resounding “yes.” My thoughts are with you, Bri’s family, and yours. Just looking at the picture I can feel so much love is overflowing between the two of you, and reading your words I can’t help but cry.
Thank you, Bri, for the love you shared with us all.

Jennifer (Baklava Queen) October 30, 2008 at 4:20 am

Thank you, Marc, for sharing the news — and as Manggy said, thank you, Bri, for the joy and laughter and love you brought to our lives. My thoughts are with all of you in this difficult time, but I know you will have many, many wonderful and beautiful memories to bring you comfort and peace in the days and years to come. Love to you all!

Nicisme October 30, 2008 at 4:59 am

Dear Marc,
I know how hard it must be for you to write this post. I am so terribly sorry to hear about Bri, I always held a little place in my thoughts for her, desperately hoping that she would come through this.
I loved to read her blog, recipes and her quite often, humorous take on life. She introduced me to the pawpaw fruit (http://www.figswithbri.com/?p=44) – not my favourite I have to say – but that is what food bloggers do best, share their finds, tastes and recipes.
This weekend I’m going to make something from Figs with Bri, and savour every second…
Take care,
With love from Nic

Sara October 30, 2008 at 6:50 am

I didn’t know Bri, but I am gonna miss her too ! She seemed like a fine woman. Hugs to you.

Jen Yu October 30, 2008 at 7:48 am

Oh Marc, what a beautiful tribute to a beautiful and smiling woman. I am so very sorry. I know the loss is overwhelming. Please remember that you and your families need to eat, sleep, take care of yourselves. It’s hard to do when you walk around numb, your mind in a fog.

I never sought out other breast cancer patients or support groups, but Bri – in her sweet and generous presence – commented on my blog and encouraged me during my treatments. She was always positive, kind, humorous. Bri is an example of the dignity with which we should all strive to live our lives. She was remarkable.

My heart goes out to you and your families.

Anita / Married ...with Dinner October 30, 2008 at 8:10 am

Oh, Marc… I’m so, so sorry.

Thank you for finding room in your grief to write this beautiful remembrance of Bri. Though we met her just once, she was such a sunny spot in our online lives.

Kristen October 30, 2008 at 8:16 am

I am in tears… my heart goes out to you and I am so sorry for your loss and the loss of the food blogging community.

Maria L. October 30, 2008 at 8:54 am

Marc,
I only discovered Bri’s site earlier this week. I found it very interesting and friendly. I bookmarked it and looked forward to learning more today. I didn’t know Bri’s story before today but I shed a tear for her (and you) when I read your message. The love you share is evident in your words and especially in your photo.
I will take your words to heart and remember to “savor the deliciousness” of life and love. The next time I am making a meal I will think of your Bri and be thankful for the small but meaningful way she touched my life.

Sean October 30, 2008 at 9:05 am

Your wife was a brave and beautiful person, inside and out, and will be missed by an enormous community of people. All our thoughts go out to you, Marc.

Tea October 30, 2008 at 9:41 am

I’ve been thinking of Bri and you and your family since I heard the news early this week–my heart goes out to you all. I’ll take your advice and cherish–not only my food, but also my days and moments. Please take care of yourselves in these hard times–there are many of us sending our best your way.

cookiecrumb October 30, 2008 at 10:08 am

I send you my love and warm thoughts. I will always remember Bri.

Patricia Scarpin October 30, 2008 at 10:26 am

Even though I have lost my mom to cancer more than 22 years ago, I never know what to say in times like these. I’m so, so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and all the relatives.
Bri will be forever in our hearts, that is for sure.

Tammy October 30, 2008 at 10:53 am

I’m heartbroken. Thank you for sharing her with us all.

elle kasey October 30, 2008 at 11:29 am

Bri was a delight to read. She was truly a special and gifted person.

Alecto October 30, 2008 at 12:26 pm

I am sadder than I want to be. I want to remember finding out about Mrs. Marv’s Chubble Bread instead. And I also want to remember that this was my first food blog from which I found all of the others and the reason I get in trouble at work for licking the screen.

Brie October 30, 2008 at 1:02 pm

All my love and thoughts are with you and your family, like everyone else your words moved me to tears. Please accept this big hug from over the sea sent with much much love. The thing is Bri’s gift to us all will keep giving, not just in every time we make one of her amazing meals but each time we pass that idea on to a friend, partner or child – she will keep on touching peoples lives and delighting them!

Manisha October 30, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Bri touched all our lives in a special way. I agree with you that we should cherish every moment. My love to you, Cynthe and your families. Take care of yourself, Marc.

Shivapriya October 30, 2008 at 7:58 pm

May her soul rest in peace.

Bee October 30, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Thank you, Marc, for this post. It is reassuring to hear from you, even under these circumstances. We take solace in knowing that Bri lived fully and embraced all the possibilities around her. We wish you and your family strength and solace as you cope with your great loss.

Alexis October 30, 2008 at 8:47 pm

I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your families, may you have all the strength you need to cope. Bri will be sorely missed.

maryann October 31, 2008 at 2:33 am

Bri gave us the gift of community and the realization that anything can be accomplished if we all stick together.
My thoughts are with you and the family, Marc.
Thanks, beautiful Bri.

Sally October 31, 2008 at 7:43 am

My deepest condolences to you and your family.

kathryn October 31, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Marc,
I am so very sorry for the loss of Bri.
What a beautiful tribute you wrote for your wife.

I had some dark chocolate with sea salt and thought of Bri and somehow knew that she would have approved of the strange combination.

All the very best to you and yours, and again, I am so sorry.

Andrea October 31, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Marc, I am so so sorry. I don’t know what else to say.

TBC October 31, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Marc,
I am so sorry for your loss. Bri was a remarkably special person and I’m glad I got to know her through this space. I couldn’t help but cry reading your heartfelt tribute.
Bri will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to you and your families.
Take care.

Kalyn October 31, 2008 at 6:37 pm

What a beautiful tribute to Bri. I was so sorry to get the news that her struggle had ended, and even though I only knew her through her blog, it was clear that she was very special. My best to you at this difficult time.

Hilary October 31, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Hi Marc,

Thank you for your passionate words. It was because of bloggers like Bri that I started my own blog. I can only hope to partially live up to what she was able to do.

I will continue to think of you for months and years to come.

Hilary

Niveditha November 1, 2008 at 12:15 am

Marc….Please accept my deepest condolences…I lost one of my aunts to cancer and I personally know how difficult it is for us to give the person the kind of encouragement they actually need amidst our grief.You’ve done a good job..god bless you.May Bri’s soul rest in peace!!!

Susan November 1, 2008 at 1:54 am

I was so sad to hear this news. My very deep sympathy to your family.

Purnima November 1, 2008 at 5:54 am

Did not know Bri, until Jai and Bee posted, had faith that she might come out of this,but destiny seems to hv had other plans. Whatever little I read from Bri, touched me. May her soul rest in peace, strength to your families.

Tabbie November 1, 2008 at 6:59 am

Thinking of you…

Sally November 1, 2008 at 10:03 am

A beautiful post, Marc.

I wish you strength to cope with your very great loss and send love to you and to all Bri’s family and friends.

Ganga VegeYum November 1, 2008 at 10:43 am

Bri was such an inspiration to all of us. We loved her through her blog. An incredibly special person and an incredibly special family.

Rashmi November 1, 2008 at 11:55 am

Heart touching post,Marc.I came to know Bri through Bee and Jai posts.Even though i dint know her persoanlly but she touched my heart through her warmth and beaming energy.I will always admire her courage,kindness.

Please accept my deepest condelences.May Bri’s soul reat in peace.

Take care.

farida November 1, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Marc, what a beautiful tribute to a wonderful person. I didn’t know Bri personally, but her story touched me to the deepest of my heart. We emailed each other once and she sounded so vibrant, kind, so warm. I wish you lots of strength to cope with your pain. I will never forget Bri…

Manasi November 1, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Wishing u strength as u cope with his huge loss.
God Bless.

Vani November 1, 2008 at 4:18 pm

My deepest condolences to you and your family, Marc. Bri was a courageous person who’s strength and positive energy despite the pain she was in, was an inspiration to us! May her sould rest in peace.

Donna November 1, 2008 at 8:16 pm

What a loving, gentle soul. May memories of Bri bring you comfort to the end of your days.

Aparna November 2, 2008 at 7:16 am

I discovered Bri and her world at Bee and Jai’s blog. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
May her smiling face, courage, memories and God give you and family the strength to cope and go on.

Cynthia November 2, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Thinking of you… and remembering Bri.

Rosa November 2, 2008 at 6:50 pm

I’m so sorry… A beautiful tribute and post.

In thoughts with you,

Rosa

Breadchick Mary November 2, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Marc,

My deepest sympathy to you and your family on the passing of Bri. Those of us in the food blogging community will miss her contributions, her sense of humor, and the lovely way she made everything she blogged about accessible.

Mrs Ergül November 2, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Dear Marc,

This is a lovely tribute to your beloved wife. The pain of losing someone so dear must be unbearable. We can all the see the love between you two. It is lovely. Marc, find comfort in seeing your wife in such light as many men can’t and don’t share the same sentiments of their wives.

We all know Bri will want you and your families to live well despite having to face with such a loss. Remember, Bri will be looking down with a smile on her face everytime you feed yourself a scrumptious meal.

My heart goes out to you and your family. Do take care.

Bri will always be remembered.

Bhavana November 3, 2008 at 7:17 pm

May you find strength to deal with this loss.

Life is unpredictable and often shorter than we wish. When you sit down to eat, take a moment to savor the deliciousness that crosses your palate. Delight in each precious moment of joy, beauty and friendship. We never know how many we will be given.

I will try – take care.

Chachiskitchen November 4, 2008 at 5:42 am

My sympathy to you. MAy Bri rest in peace. She will be missed.

Lakshmi November 4, 2008 at 9:31 pm

We were soo sorry to hear the loss of Bri. May god give you enough strength to deal with this loss. The last few lines are so true, I will keep them in mind Marc.

Fanny November 4, 2008 at 10:18 pm

Tears streaming down my face when i read this.I’m so sorry. May peace be upon her

Lucy Vanel November 5, 2008 at 6:28 am

Our thoughts are with you now, Marc.

Pasticcera November 5, 2008 at 3:28 pm

What a moving tribute and admirable request. I try to remind myself to take each day like it is the only one you get and your loss makes it ever so urgent to remember that and your request. My hear reaches out to you and I am truly sorry for the untimely loss of Bri.

Reynila November 5, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Marc
I am so sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your beautiful and brave wife Bri. Her courage was an inpsiration to me. My heartfelt thoughts are with you and your families.

Grace November 6, 2008 at 5:53 am

I came over from another blog. I am so very sorry. Thank you for reminding me to savor life.

Happy Cook November 6, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Marc actually we are the people who are honored by knowing her. Even if it is through the net.
When I think about your lovley wife i always remember her beautiful smile.
My best to you and your family in this difficult time.

Bhagyashri November 7, 2008 at 8:58 am

I had come to know about Bri through Jugalbandi. I did not know her personally, nor had I come into direct contact with her. In spite of this, I feel that I have known her very closely. The strength she displayed in her fight with the disease is truly commendable. But what is more amzing is that she was always seen smiling through it. Even today when I think of her, its her wonderful smile that first comes to mind.

I wish you strength to cope with this irreparable loss.

Corrie November 9, 2008 at 9:15 am

My deepest sympathy to you, Marc, your family and to everyone who was touched by Bri. It has been an honor to read her blog. May she rest in peace and may the people who love her find comfort in the incredible life she lived. She will be missed and remembered always for her passion and zest for life. My heart goes out to you during this incredibly difficult time.

Vidya November 9, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Hi Marc, I came to know of Bri only very recently. First of all, i am so sorry to hear about the tragic loss. I wish i had had a chance to interact with this beautiful person. My thoughts and prayers for your family.

Aran November 10, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Marc- Thank you for sharing this without us. What a beautiful tribute to her your words were. Our thoughts are with you and we will remember Bri through her recipes, words and photos. Thank you.

Madeline November 11, 2008 at 1:51 am

I’m so sorry for your loss Marc. I’ve been following Bri and her progress for some time now. I have been checking in every couple of weeks and just came across this news. I truly hope Bri knew how much she meant to all of us. Her beautiful words and delicious recipes will continue to inspire us for many years to come. Take care.

Goslyn November 12, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Marc,
I’m so sorry to hear that Bri has passed on. Her blog clearly reflected her incredible spirit and her love of people, of beauty, and of food. Bri’s posts not only made my mouth water from her impressive (and beautifully photographed) recipes, but her posts also made me think more carefully about what and how I eat.

My prayers are with you and your family, and I am so sorry for your loss.

Lori Lynn November 13, 2008 at 4:52 am

Dear Marc –
Such a precious photograph of the two of you…I can feel the love and the peace you brought to each other.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Lori Lynn

Jessica De la O November 13, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Dear Marc,
I am so moved by Bri’s blog and what has evolved in it over the time that it has existed. How wonderful that Bri had an opportunity to create this labor of love to share with so many. It is a special gift she has left for all of us to enjoy and savor. Thank you for your beautiful tribute to the love of your life, Bri. I can’t even tell you how I have been touched by your love for one another and the enormous creativity that went into this amazing gift. Thank you Bri. My love to you, Marc.

Sharmila November 18, 2008 at 3:34 am

Such beautiful thoughts in such grief Marc! I feel honoured and will always cherish the nice words that Briana left in my blog.
Let us all find solace in the thought that she is in no more pain and sleeping peacefully.

Tamara November 23, 2008 at 11:25 pm

I just finished reading Bri’s article on making truffles (December 2007) because I’ve been searching the web trying to figure out the best way to temper chocolate. It was such an informative and friendly and engaging piece of writing—I learned exactly what I needed and laughed along the way—that I bookmarked the site, then returned to the home page to read more about the author. You can imagine my shock and sadness, just as I can imagine yours. I am so, so sorry for you loss. Your tribute was heartfelt, moving, and inspirational, and I’m crying for a girl I’ve known about for only fifteen minutes. This will sound silly, but I will think of Bri every time I temper chocolate. All the best to you.

Marc November 24, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Thank you all for your sweet and heartfelt comments. I miss Bri so much, but it makes me smile to see how many lives she touched. This blog was truly a labor of love for her and she enjoyed being part of this amazing food blogging community.

Miri November 24, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Thank you for posting this lovely tribute to Bri’s spirit and sunny soul. My heartfelt wishes go out to you and your family in this time of grief.

Miri

gillian January 19, 2009 at 7:53 am

I am so sorry for your loss.
I’ve had Bri bookmarked for ages…but today is the first time I’ve learned of this.
My condolences on the loss of your sweet beautiful wife.
xoxo

Poornima January 23, 2009 at 4:16 am

Our thoughts and prayers are with you Mac..

Warm Regds

alicia March 24, 2009 at 2:51 pm

I stumbled onto this website for the first time just a few minutes ago looking for a good split pea soup recipe. I found one! I had to learn more about Bri and now my eyes are filled with tears and my heart is filled with grief and compassion for the tragic, untimely loss of such a beautiful, strong woman who was loved her so dearly by her family and community. I’m so sorry for your loss…. my heart goes out to you. Peace and Love… Alicia

“Life is eternal and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.” Rossiter W. Raymond

Marc March 24, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Thanks for your kindness. What sweet comments! We all miss Bri dearly. She was a bright ray of light. I am glad people are still discovering this blog, so they can share in her enthusiasm and creativity.

Pierre Morin April 12, 2010 at 8:41 am

Your blog is fascinating | Have you read ‘The Way of Transition’ by William Bridge ? It helped me a lot and I hope it will help you in your journey in life.

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your blog!

Tuffnel September 9, 2010 at 10:23 am

I normally troll the internet but this really touched me. I played a game that was dedicated to her and it was really enjoyable.

RIP you person you. I’ll be a good guy for a bit now.

Cynthe September 10, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Tuffnel ~ Bri was a sweet one. Quite spirited and spunky herself. Glad you dedicated a game to her….and enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting, too. Wishing you pleasure in those “good” moments….

Raw Food Guys April 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Cynthe, I did not know about Bri until just know. I found this wonderful, heartfelt blog when I read and article about cancer. Never imagined Bri died of that.
Then I came back with this passion to share what I discovered on the raw food life style. I read today Bri was vegetarian and organic!
I learned some wonderful things about life, like enjoying it and the food too, just by reading about Bri’s life.
Thank you for continuing this work of LOVE!

Carlos

Cynthe April 18, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Thanks Carlos ~ It’s readers like you that Bri LOVED to write for. And that I continue writing for. FWB has been such a gift to me. Would enjoy doing it full time, but have way too many interests….and it’s not healthy living round the clock at my keyboard!

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