Valley widow shares story to help Phoenix police officer John Hobbs' grieving family

PHOENIX - It was October 13, 2008.

"I had pajamas in hand, I was running down the stairs and DPS officers were standing outside with their big smoky hats and they didn't have to say anything. I got closer and closer to the door and I said, 'this isn't good, this can't be good,'" Angela Harrolle remembers.

They told me that Bruce was doing a rescue on Bear Mountain in Sedona and there were two lost, dehydrated, stranded hikers, but for whatever reason, during that rescue, he was struck by the helicopter rotor blade and lost his life.

But, Angela says even more upsetting was when she had to tell her two and four-year-old kids what happened.

"I put them in my lap and said, 'daddy got a bad owie, he's not coming home. He's never coming home,'" she says.

It's a heartbreaking memory and one that she relives every time she learns a law enforcement officer is killed while serving our community.

"I wonder if the families been notified yet because as long as they can continue about their day, their life is still normal and nothing has changed," she says.

Five years after she lost her husband, Angela is proof life can be good again. She survived the unthinkable and her family has evolved into their "new normal."

"My children have grown so much, they're little images of my husband and I'm grateful for that because I look at them and when I see my daughter's eyes, I see him and my son's smile and his mischievous ways I also see his spirit living on," she says.

Now, Angela's trying to channel that grief to help other families through this difficult process. 

When asked what she would say to the officer's grieving family, she says when others offer to help, let them help.

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