Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pure Light

From MCU President, Kristi Ridd-Young
April 24,2011

It is with a heavy, sad heart that I share with you the death of one of MCU's most beloved. On Saturday afternoon, Brianna and her younger brother were in a car accident near Santaquin, Utah. Brianna did not survive the accident; blessedly her brother did.

Many of you who came to conferences got to experience the incredible way Briana, with her dear friend and soul sister Cathy, touched the lives of those families they cared for and in turn touched your life through the sharing of their wise women ways. From the time I met Briana years ago at a doula training until our last heart to heart a few days ago, I marveled at Briana's wisdom, intuition and serenity. How could a woman so young have accomplished and perfected that which most of us take a lifetime to learn?

I often teased Brianna that I was going to line her up with one of my sons so she could always be my daughter. . . I don't know if I'll be able to walk past her prenatal office to go to my desk without feeling her tender midwifery spirit emanating from within. From cradling the head of a newborn to holding a woman in her arms as she transitioned from pregnancy to motherhood, she truly honored that sacred space of midwifery.

There's a part of me that's a little bit angry right now; I want to stamp my foot and say, "I don't know the reason why and I'm not able to see the whole, big picture, but do you really need Brianna like we need her here?" What I do know is that Brianna loved and honored our heavenly parents. She is encircled in their arms while our arms ache for her. I know that her spirit will comfort her family and the many who are so painfully missing her. I am honored to have known her--truly a ministering angel.

The Midwives College of Utah will dedicate a scholarship fund in her memory to a young, single woman who has the vision Brianna did and can carry on the wise woman ways she taught each of us who were privileged to know her.

In contemplation of all we mean to each other,


Beautiful spirit
Old soul
My sister, my friend

With every birth I will feel you close, your hands now guiding my hands from an even wiser place. I have loved you Briana, from our very first meeting. You so young, so confident and those cute green shoes. Seems right that on our last work day together you were wearing your bright red boots. So happy. So gentle and loving with your "moms". I know you will be patient as we grieve here, looking for peace in your leaving. I know you will not judge as we struggle and question. That's who you are. That's what we still try to learn. Patience and tolerance. Keep shining my lovely, lovely Briana.

". . . 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



jadE said...

Briana's spirit will always live on, she touched so many lives, and there was always a light wherever she went. She took care of me through my labor when Carson was born, and I will never forget her. She was beautiful.

JD and Willow said...

I;m so saddened to hear this she was such a sweet woman, and her gentle spirit will be missed, It was wonderful having her come to our birth her calmness was very comforting.

Rachel Swan said...

Cathy, my thoughts + prayers have been with you during these trying hours. Vanessa and I talked at length this morning about the beautiful and unique relationship the two of you shared.

I hope this Easter Sunday you will be able to feel sweetness and peace amidst the pain and grief.

Briana has been a dear, cherished friend of mine for many years, and attended the births of both of my children. She has always supported and loved me + my family, and my heart aches thinking about a world without her gentle spirit.

Marilyn said...

Oh Cathy, I'm so sad and sorry to hear this. I also was struck by Briana's calm and peaceful spirit every time I was around her. I am thinking of you and praying for her loved ones. What a hard burden for you this Easter Sunday.

Marilyn said...

P.S. My word verification was "sings"!

Briana said...

I am so sorry I didn't know her, after reading this. She sounds like an amazing, wonderful person.

Summer said...

Aching doesn't even begin to describe this feeling of loss. She truly is an amazing woman- thank you Kristi for sharing your thoughts. Cathy- I am so sorry for the separation you two sisters must endure.
I am thankful for Christ's resurrection this Easter especially in light of his sudden tragedy and loss. My love goes out to you and her family and clients.

Angie Evans said...

This is so sad. Briana was such a beautiful person. Cathy my heart& prayers go out to you and the rest of her family and circle. I felt so blessed to learn from the 2 of you, and loved seeing that deep bond of love you shared.
Hugs, Angie Evans (MCU from Canada)

Toners said...

Cathy, I have been thinking much of you today through the tears and sadness. You and briana both touched my life... changed my life. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

My prayers are with you.

Cindy said...

As we walk the path we were meant to walk, as we stumble and often times fall, the gifts come when we meet people along the way that get our jokes, feel our pride and honor and salute our successes, that gift in my life has been you and Briana. You have always been there with a, welcome into my life smile. Thank you and I love you both so much.

Angela Guertler said...

Everything here has been so well said and brings a peace and comfort amongst the pain I feel so deeply. To feel the love and support of the birthing community for Briana is a light during this difficult time. Thank you Kristi for saying these beautiful words for our beautiful friend who will be with us in spirit as we strive to be as compassionate and bright as she is.

Sycamore Girl said...

I don't have words, Cathy. Only I love you.

Danielle said...

You mean the world to Bri; may you feel her strength wash over you.
She couldn't have fulfilled all of her life's mission without you. (And what a mission! I'm so thankful that Hudson's birth brought her and you to our family.) What a loyal friend you are. Praying for much healing. XO

Amy S said...

Cathy- so sorry to hear of Briana's passing. May you be blessed with abundant peace and comfort at this time.

Yesterday I was overcome with the realization of just how precious life is. This feeling was only magnified upon hearing your heartbreaking news. So thankful for the message of Easter as a comfort.

Jackie said...

My love and prayers go out to you and Briana's family. I am so so sorry for your loss. I am so grateful that I was able to find her and have her and you bless my life with the birth of our son. My God comfort you and her family in out time of sorrow and grief. Thank you for all you have done.

Kate said...

This is a video my husband Neil & I made dedicated to Bri.

Natalie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie said...

We love you Cathy. We feel blessed to have you in our lives and to have had the chance to meet and mingle with Briana, however brief the encounter was. She made a big impact on our lives.

Heather and Tyler said...

On Sunday I was looking up Midwives (even though I am not pregnant or even "trying" yet). I came accross Briana's website and immediately thought she was wonderful. She was everything I was looking for. I saw her blog and then saw the link to this blog... I literally cried when I saw this post. I didn't know her, but I felt like I had lost a friend. This week I keep unconsciously coming back to the site and blogs. I can't imagine how you must be feeling. My thoughts and prayers are with you.