Monday, April 25, 2011


It's no secret that I don't like the ward whose boundaries I'm in. For the two years I had my records there, I did anything I could to get out of going. I had a calling for like 3 months before they realized I wasn't doing anything and released me. At the end of the year, Kate and I suddenly felt motivated to be good visiting teachers, so we actually found out who we were supposed to visit and set up appointments. We visited one girl, a med student at the U, and had such a great time with her. I think we both thought, "Why have we not been doing this before?" Our second appointment for the night was with our second sister, Briana. Something came up and Briana text me, asking to move our appointment back. Kate was going to a concert later, but I was free. So I told Kate I would just visit Briana alone. As I was heading to her apartment, Briana called. She had old friends from out of town that had come for a surprise visit and asked if I could reschedule.

I never did.

The next month I text her, but we couldn't find a time that worked for us both. I said I'd look more at my schedule and get back to her.

I never did.

I never got better at visiting teaching, and in an effort to stay active in the Church, I found a new ward. I didn't give Kate and my brief attempt at visiting teaching another thought until last week. I was cleaning off a bookshelf and came across the card and message I'd printed off for Briana several months ago when our plans fell through. I felt a brief pang of guilt for never following up with her, and then I threw away the card.

This morning Kate informed me that Briana was killed Saturday in a rollover. That guilt came back as more than a little pang. I'd say "flood" is a more accurate description. I never even met her. I had months and months that I should have been spending time with her, getting to know her better. And I lacked enough faith in the whole program of visiting teaching to even make a decent effort.

All morning I've been reading touching accounts and memories of Briana's life like this and this. What an incredible woman. On Briana's own blog, I just read as she reflected on life. She wrote:

This cycle is born out in the natural world where the death of one organism gives life to others, and in our own generational cycle when our aging parents come to rely on us like children and infants for their care and we are required to give back all that we were given in ways that we as parents could never conceive of needing from our children.

What a selfish person I am. What faith I lack. How ignorant and narrow-minded I've allowed myself to become. I don't have a right to mourn the passing of Briana, so I guess these tears are a manifestation of anger and a bit of self-loathing. I've always felt frustrated with people who need a tragedy to make them open their eyes. Now look at me with mine wide open.


K8 said...

Yup. You made me cry. Thanks for putting my feelings into words.

Jen said...

Wend, I'm so sorry you are feeling the pain right now. I hope you find comfort in resolving to shape the future, as the past cannot be altered.

I have never known a young, single midwife. I just read her entire blog. Simply amazing.

Melissa DeMoux said...

I'm so sorry, Wendy. I wish I knew the right thing to say. I'm sure this experience will give life to new resolves that will better your life and the lives around you, but I'm really sorry you, and everyone who knew this woman, are hurting right how.

Adiel said...

I love you, Wendy!