by Susan Branch
While most of us will not face the sudden, crushing tragedy that confronted Samantha Light-Gallagher, all of us will suffer losses and, yes, tragedy in our lives. Samantha uses the story of her own tragedy, and how she lived through the worst of it, to give hope and help to readers of this small, heart-felt book.
Samantha and Michael had only been married five years when a drunken driver ended Michael's life forever, leaving Samantha with two young children and her almost insurmountable grief. Michael had a new job as a U. S. Border Patrol agent, and Samantha was juggling motherhood and school when the knock at the door changed her life. He had a way of helping others--in fact, he was coming home late after helping a colleague when the accident happened.
Although she still grieves for Michael, and the life he might have lived, Samantha, pictured, has learned to find the courage to continue her life, which she calls "crazy courage," the ability to throw common sense and good advice to the winds, and do what must be done. She shares with others the ways she has coped, always making sure to emphasize that everyone handles things differently. What is right for her, or for your neighbor, or sister, or friend may be wrong for you, and different things are right for people at different times in the long and complex grieving process.
Nonetheless, this sensitive memoir and advice manual can help many of its readers deal with the tragedies in their own lives. Although her experiences may be particular to her, the suggestions she gives can be useful to anyone who grieves.
Light-Gallagher covers such subjects as how to cope with a loved one's funeral, how to break bad news to young children, and how to ask for help. She admits that she spent days in bed, crying uncontrollably, and encourages others to do so as well, if they find it helps. There is no right or wrong way through the process, just hints to help the bereaved survive. Her heart-felt, and hard-learned, lessons will be helpful to those facing loss in any of its shapes.
She has become a member of MADD, worked with other grief stricken families and with law enforcement peer support groups, and gives support to other widows, as ways of surviving and making sense out of the new life she has had forced upon her.
Because that is her goal: to survive and continue with her life's journey. Light-Gallagher knows that she must do that, not only for her own sake and the sake of her two sons, but also for Michael's sake. He did not have the luxury of making a choice about how to live. She does, and to honor him she chooses meaningful life.
Title - Crazy Courage: A Young Widow's Survival Guide
Author: Samantha Light-Gallagher
Publisher: AuthorHouse (Apr. 18, 2012)
$14.95/paperback; $3.47/Kindle at amazon.com