published in by Maryanne | March 21, 2013 | No Comments

A Widow’s Awakening important read for police community


“Just back from California with dreams of a carefree adventure when those dreams turn into nightmares of a harsh reality and uncertain future.  If you are, or know of, a member that serves in the armed forces or is a first responder…this is a must read.  Maryanne brings to reality her no holds barred look at life before, during, and after the day her husband, Calgary Police Service Constable John Petropoulos, died in the line of duty.  How did she turn the nightmare back into a dream; a dream of safe workplaces for EVERYONE?  This journey is emotional and inspirational and 18 years later offers some closure to those who experienced it alongside her.”

 – Shauna Spear, Calgary Police Service

“A Widow’s Awakening gives a rare insight into the emotional roller coaster and psychological struggle experienced by the newly widowed wife of a police officer, senselessly killed on duty as the result of an unsafe workplace. This compelling account of personal tragedy and its aftermath is told with brutal honesty and a sense of humour uniquely her own. The dangers and consequences of policing, its effect on family, friends and comrades, as well as the author’s determination to improve workplace safety in memory of her husband, results in a fascinating and thought provoking book.”

– Former Chief Rick Hanson, Calgary Police Service

“I just finished reading A Widow’s Awakening and thought it beautifully written. I was completely absorbed in every page . . . it was funny, sad and shocking. People can learn from the honest insight, all of the emotions that people go through when grieving the loss of a loved one. I think it’s a wonderful gift that you have given back in John’s name . . . a memorial fund that can make a difference in other people’s lives . . . because isn’t that what John and all police officers’ intent is after all?”

– Peggy L, police spouse, Calgary, AB

“I read A Widow’s Awakening last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. The first part had me wiping my eyes at the end of every page but the last two parts basically summarized my time as a police officer. At first I was thinking ‘I don’t ever want my wife to read this book’ but when I got through the first part I started to think it would put things in perspective for her…it sure did for me.”

– Jeff Z, Medicine Hat, AB

“In the remarkable, can’t-put-it-down book, A Widow’s Awakening, Maryanne Pope lays bare the raw, painful and sometimes embarrassing truth of what it means to lose a ‘soul mate love’ to the hazards of law enforcement, including the heart wrenching truth that her husband didn’t have to die the way he did.”

– Chuck Remsberg, PoliceOne/Calibre Press, Chicago, IL

Why A Widow’s Awakening needs to be in your police library

When Cst John Petropoulos of the Calgary Police Service fell to his death during the investigation of a break and enter complaint in September 2000, his wife, Maryanne, learned first hand the immense toll a line-of-duty death has on the loved ones left behind.

A Widow’s Awakening is a powerful read for those in the police community – police officers and their spouses – as it speaks to the important work police officers do and the far-reaching impacts the ultimate sacrifice has.

John Petropoulos Memorial Fund

For more information on the public safety educational initiatives of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund, please visit

To order A Widow’s Awakening

On Sept 13th, 2018, BHC Press will be releasing A Widow’s Awakening as a novel. To order, please visit BHC Press.


100% of the proceeds from the first 1000 books sold will go to the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund

“Just finished A Widow’s Awakening a few minutes ago. Received a copy because I’m on the exec of Canadian Police Chaplain Association. Thanks for your searching, questing soulful vulnerability and authenticity. Your work inspires me to “be with” officers and their significant others. Take care. I hope our paths cross sometime.” 

– Brian Krushel, Police Chaplain

“I read your book over the weekend…could not put it down. The way you described your journey was extremely well done and thought provoking…and helpful to me as a Chaplain. Having been in private practice as a psychological counselor and now serving as part of a pastoral staff and more recently as a volunteer Chaplain with a police service, I’ve had many conversations with individuals who have suffered loss. I highly recommend every Chaplain read it. Your transparency did not sugar coat reality – well done. In addition, we are using the JPMF’s Boots workplace safety DVD for training staff and volunteers.”

– Miriam Mollering, Pastor of Life Care Ministries and Risk Management Designate, Centre Street Church, Calgary, AB

To read a Q&A with A Widow’s Awakening author, Maryanne Pope, published in the Dec 2013 issue of The Police Association Victoria Journal out of Melbourne, Australia, here is the link.

For additional reader testimonials from the police community, please click here.

Please click here to listen to a short audio clip about John’s police funeral from A Widow’s Awakening audio book.