Eleven Eleven Media

Author's Account of Tragic Loss Lauded for Offering Hope to the Grieving


Lewisburg, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/11/2014 -- In the days after her son, Marc, was killed in a traffic accident, Sally Mathews longed for a book that would let her “be with another woman who had lost a son ... help me make sense of it.” Sally never found that book. But now, 33 years later, she's released “The Blue Balloon: Journey through Grief,” an illustrated volume that grief counselors laud for offering readers hope and possibility in the face of unspeakable loss. Early online reviewers, too, credit the book with helping them through similar experiences.

Combining short journal entries with sensitive design, “The Blue Balloon” guides readers carefully through the author's painful but ultimately uplifting story. Interspersed watercolor paintings and pen-and-ink drawings provide respite as Mathews describes her depression in the wake of Marc's death, then shares the everyday miracles that brought her renewed hope and life.

Anthony G. Butto, director of The Courtyard Counseling Center, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, calls “The Blue Balloon” “significant” and writes that “Sally's book models hope, purpose, and what is possible in the face of such loss.” Butto adds that while there are many books about the immeasurable and intense grief of losing a child, Mathews’ different approach may surprise readers at times.

“Most first person accounts are sensitive and often prescriptive. Sally’s story doesn’t tell us what to do or how to feel. Instead, she lets us in on her personal and very private journey that may teach us more than any clinical or religious application.”

Licensed psychologist Catherine McLaughlin, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, says “‘The Blue Balloon’ is a stunningly beautiful evocation of Sally Mathews’ process in the aftermath of her son’s death.” And Marjory Zoet Bankson, nationally known author of “Creative Aging”, recommends “The Blue Balloon” as the “perfect choice for anyone in search of hope or faith when old certainties are gone.”

A warm and engaging storyteller, Sally Mathews laughs as she talks about keeping her journals on scraps of paper, stuffing them into a paper bag, and storing the bag for decades. It was only when friends coaxed her into sharing her story that she realized she had a book. Now she's passionate about getting “The Blue Balloon” into the hands of people who might benefit from reading it.

“The Blue Balloon” is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and bookstores everywhere.

About Sally Mathews
Author Sally Mathews lives with her husband, John, in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She serves on the Board of Directors for Oasis, Ministries for Spiritual Development. She is an entertaining speaker, available for interviews, readings, book signings, and conversations with reading groups. For more information, including the author’s bio, review copies, and high-resolution photos, please visit http://www.sallymathews.net/media/