Submitted by her mother, Deneen Roskoski

Brie was always concerned about others


Brie was 5 when they were taught to stop, drop and roll in case of fire. We practiced how we would get out of our apartment building in case of fire. As we were walking back inside from the drill, she asked, “Momma, how will Joyce and her mother get out?” Joyce was a developmentally disabled woman in her fifties who lived with her mother who used a walker. I explained that we would help them. Brianna then gave her favorite teddy bear to Joyce so she wouldn’t be afraid.

How Brie would want to be remembered

Brie would want to be remembered for being a good friend. She cherished her friendships, was a great listener and rescued anyone who needed help — man or beast, it didn’t matter. She was empathic and always seemed to know when folks were hurting. She would help them get through their problems, help them get off drugs. Everybody came to her to talk. She helped everybody but couldn’t help herself.

She loved music and dogs

Brie also was a dog lover. One of my friends asked at the funeral why there were so many photos of dogs when we couldn’t have them, but Brie would borrow friends’ dogs and bring them home. She would pick up strays. One cold night, she found someone dumping a dog. She stayed on the phone making calls until she found someone who would take it. 

Brianna loved music and listened to all kinds, from Johnny Cash to Tom Petty, from ’70s hits to rap. My most vivid memories of her are just riding in the car and singing and laughing.

Her proudest accomplishment

She was so proud to go back and get her GED. It meant so much to her.

How Brie was introduced to opioids

I think she started stealing her relative’s pain pills when she was 14. I remember chaos, uncontrolled anger, erratic behavior, lying, stealing, crying, pain, begging for help and not having many resources for teenagers in Michigan.

How our relationship changed with her drug use

It’s so hard to not be able to trust anything your child says, because they will do anything to get the drugs.

Brie’s attempts to recover

Brianna had over 150 sessions with a drug counselor and graduated from drug court. Then she went to rehab, which dismissed her after four days for not participating. She saw a psychiatrist for several years, then did another attempt at rehab, then saw a doctor for Suboxone treatment, which wasn’t successful. Her struggle lasted seven years.

The last time I saw her

Brie lived at home during her whole struggle with drugs. My last moment with her was when she came into my room to say goodnight, and we exchanged “I love yous.”

If I could say anything to her now, it would be

I would tell her that I love her.