Black Eye, first of all let me say I am sad to here about your mother. My prayers go out to you.
Now to your electrical problems. The whole brake light issue. Sounds like you need a brake light switch. This can be the cause of both the fast blowing light bulbs as well as the random brake light circuit warning. However, I would recommend only using BMW bulbs or those aftermarket approved by bmw. Believe it or not, they can make a difference (resistance). Also, check the tail light assemblies really well in the contact areas where the bulb is. Sometimes these corrode and lose their proper contact which can cause problems as well. This usually happens from using cheap bulbs (usually the goldish colored base bulbs). I would also check for water intrusion through cracked lenses and missing or deteriorated seals. Water leaks alter the resistance in the circuit which contribute to problems. As far as the interior lights, have you checked the bulbs and contacts? From there it would take some electrical troubleshooting that I can't really explain here. The switch resides in the door latch assembly in the door, that could be faulty although not that common. If I can help you any further, let me know. Shoot me an email if you'd like. Hope that helps.
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