Reeling from shock and grief, Rich barely clung to his own life after wife Lisa died from cancer. The pain and suffering that ensued was almost intolerable. Only his love for his five- and six-year-old sons kept him from surrendering to the pain and collapsing in a hopeless heap.

Rich’s poignant and heartfelt story of love, love lost, all-consuming grief and pain, visitations from Lisa after her death, and his triumphant recovery is told in his new book, Life Without Lisa: A Widowed Father’s Compelling Journey Through the Rough Seas of Grief.

Thanks to the author’s professional status as a freelance writer, Rich’s instincts were to record his feelings and day-to-day existence on paper in the aftermath of his monumental loss. His journal later served as the basis for the book.

Life Without Lisa gives the reader a rare and intimate view of how a man faces loss that defies words and comes out the other side whole, happy and enjoying life again despite his certitude that he would never smile again.

Few men, if any, have publicly revealed their innermost thoughts, feelings and fears in the compelling way Rich Ballo has. Most men, instead, present a stoic face to the outside world and reject expression of their personal grief and experience. But Rich Ballo simultaneously shows his courageous and vulnerable side in his book that offers hope and understanding to all who suffer a cataclysmic loss. And since death touches all, chances are exceedingly high that all who read Life Without Lisa will benefit from the reassurances the book offers.

The book opens on the day of Lisa’s death, with the author saying he thinks the only thing that will save him are his two little boys. Chapter one ends with a memorable scene in which Rich puts little Nick and Victor to bed, and the three of them hug, clinging together, not wanting to let go. Rich writes that they are like “...three weary swimmers adrift in a sea of shock and grief.”

Life Without Lisa enables readers to walk a mile in Rich’s shoes for five years following Lisa’s death. Readers are allowed glimpses of Rich’s utter despair and aching loneliness as he puts his new life together day by day following his monumental loss. The pages of Life Without Lisa reveal Rich’s painstaking recovery. Readers sob when he sobs and cheers him on when hope glimmers on the horizon. But most of all, readers see him or herself in his journey because ultimately love and loss unite us all.

Moments of humor punctuate the true story and bring us to the other side where the impossible has happened: Rich is once again happy and fulfilled! This up-close-and-personal story offers hope and healing for every reader who finds him or herself lost in a sea of grief and affirms the eternal nature of the soul.

Life Without Lisa confirms that life goes on both on the earth plane for the one left behind as well as in the spirit realm for the one who has gone on.

Published by Quality of Life Publishing Co. (1-877-513-0099) • ISBN: 0-9675532-4-5 Distributed to North American bookstores by Biblio Distribution Life Without Lisa: A Widowed Father’s Compelling Journey Through the Rough Seas of Grief by Richard Ballo

Book Review

Life Without Lisa: A Compelling Account of Life after Death for the Loved One Left Behind on Earth and the One Who Returns to Spirit

As expected as the proverbial “death and taxes” are, nothing can adequately prepare anyone for the loss of a beloved one – especially if that loved one dies at an early age. Author Rich Ballo simply was not ready on any level when his treasured 38-year-old wife Lisa died, even though both Lisa and Rich firmly believed in life after death.