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A Police Widow’s Perspective

still of MA speaking at WINx Chicago

Updated March 31st, 2022

Behind the Scenes Presentation – A Police Widow’s Perspective


“In order for us to achieve excellence in our lives we must ask ourselves this simple, but powerful question throughout every day – What’s Important Now?”

– Brian R. Willis, Life’s Most Powerful Question

A few years ago, I delivered a presentation in Chicago to an audience that consisted primarily of police officers. I was one of 9 speakers at WINx – which is a TEDx Talks style event for growth and advancement of the law enforcement profession.

WINx was produced by Brian R Willis of Winning Mind Training Inc and Roy Bethge of the Virtus Group.

My presentation was entitled, “Behind the Scenes of a Line of Duty Death – a Police Widow’s Perspective.”

I spoke candidly about my police officer husband’s death (as the result of a preventable fall at unsafe workplace) and the subsequent workplace safety education initiatives of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. The JPMF was started by several of John’s police recruit classmates.

Then I did a post-game analysis of sorts, looking at the JPMF’s response to John’s easily preventable death from the perspective of the “What’s Important Now?” question.

“The simple act of stopping to ask this question causes us to briefly pause while our mind imagines the impact of the choices we have and almost immediately brings to mind the most desirable choice. When I say most desirable I do not mean the choice that will give us the most immediate gratification. I mean the choice that will have the most positive impact for us in our lives, based on the foreseeable future. This one powerful question allows us to prioritize decisions, choices, actions, and events in our personal and professional lives.”

– Brian R. Willis, Life’s Most Powerful Question

I also touched upon the challenge of knowing which answer to listen to, when we do stop and ask ourselves, “What’s Important NOW?” Because often our monkey mind chatter – and the influence of others – is far louder than the quiet voice we need to be listening to.

“Some call that voice intuition; others say it’s God, or wisdom…the point is, what we call it doesn’t matter. What’s important is that we hear it.”

– Glennon Doyle Melton, O Magazine

To view the 20-minute presentation, here is the link.

We cannot control what happens to us...but we can control how we choose to respond. Click To Tweet

And now that nearly 23 years have passed since John’s death in 2000, and the JPMF is still going strong, I can safely say the only way to tackle any significant challenge or issue – personal, professional, or a combination of the two – is by repeatedly asking ourselves: “What’s Important NOW?”

And then getting real quiet so we can hear the answer. Then take that next action, regardless of how small it may seem.

“Intuitive Insights” quote cards (30 per set) available in our Etsy shop.

Related Blogs by Maryanne

The Question That Took Me to Chicago

Dealing with Dread & the Benefits of Being Back in the Saddle

The Chick in the Road

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

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1 thought on “A Police Widow’s Perspective”

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