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


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

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

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.


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.

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!


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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