Arizona woman inspires others after loss of her husband

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PHOENIX -- When Samantha Gallagher married her husband, Michael, she was aware of the dangers he faced on the job as a U.S. Border Patrol agent.  But she never expected to be a widow at the age of 30.  After enduring the toughest times of her life, Gallagher is now trying to encourage others who also  have lost a loved one.

Michael Gallagher was 32 when he hit and killed by a drunk driver in San Miguel, Ariz., while on duty on Sept. 2, 2010.  At the time, the couple had two young boys, ages 2 and 8. 

Samantha penned her experiences through that time, first in journals, then in a book. "Crazy Courage: A Young Widow’s Survival Guide" vulnerably describes the raw emotion Samantha experienced after the loss of her husband.

She opened up and shared the raw emotion of the day agents came to her home to notify her of her husband’s death

“I heard myself sobbing uncontrollably," she wrote. "It was a cry of hysteria, of helplessness.”

But the law-enforcement wife goes on to discuss how she survived the first year, drawing upon what she calls her “Crazy Courage.”  She says the most difficult task was facing her children.  But crying with them, allowing them to express their feelings and validating them, mother and her sons make it through.

"Through this journey [Samantha] learns valuable life lessons that she wants to share with the world," reads the book's description on its page.

"[A]lthough I cannot imagine the extreme tragedy Samantha went through, how she picks up the pieces and carries on with her life is nothing short of amazing!" wrote K.J. Ryan in an review.

"While this story is sad and must have been very difficult to write for this young lady, I am thankful she did so," wrote another reviewer.

A member of MADD, this book is Samantha's way of supporting others during what likely are their darkest hours. She uses her own tragedy to inspire those who find themselves in similarly devastating situations.

"With intimate details and anecdotal stories she hopes to encourage others to use their own crazy courage," the description continues.