A World Without Color: A True Story by Bernard Jan
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans
An experience we all have in common, told with clarity, insight, and an over-flowing heart. Grief touches us all, whether it is for a human or other living creature. In A World Without Color, Mr. Jan tells the story of the days and moments leading up to, and immediately after, his beloved cat, Marcel, dies.
As someone who has worked with hospice, in hospital, health care centers, and survivor’s of loss and trauma, for close to 40 years, I must say that this is one of the most honest, compassionate, and understanding description of what grief can feel like that I have ever read – and I’ve read a lot of books about grief, loss, death and bereavement.
Here is a line from this very well written true story, which takes place in Zagreb. “I absorb into my memory your big, yellow-green and tired eyes, knowing that a little longer, a little longer, and their flame will disappear.”
Anyone who has lost someone (animal friend, or human) will understand the sensations, emotions and thoughts that are shared by Bernard Jan about his dread of Marcel dying; his reactions when Marcel dies; and his reactions afterwards. There is not an ounce of fluff (other than Marcel’s fur) or hyperbole in A World Without Color. It is as raw and as real as one can get.