In Corridors of Eternal Time

A Passage Through Grief: A Journal

Janice Gray Kolb

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ISBN: 1-57733-135-4, 272 pp., 6 x 9, paperback, $16.95

As readers of Jan Kolb's previous books know well, the author has had a deeply loving and sacred relationship with her cat, Rochester. He spent his entire life with her as companion, encourager, precious friend, and Angel. With his sudden illness and death, Jan's life was plunged into grief, and she began this book immediately to honor Rochester and help herself and others experiencing grief.

The book is a passage through grief, written in journal form. It is for human grief also, as there is no difference in grief - we all experience it when we lose someone we love. It explores dreams, visions, walking, memory loss, depression, the consolation of cremation, examples of ways humans have grieved for humans, journal writing, ways to help ourselves, and through it all, the passage through days and nights of mourning the physical absence of a beloved companion.

Many do not anticipate that our loved ones' spirits never leave us, even though they have gone to Heaven and await us there. Many do not want to have a continual presence of a loved one who has passed, but many do. For those who are open to this prayerfully, it truly happens, as Jan attests in her experience of the blessing and comfort of Rochester's continuing spiritual presence. This book can bring comfort to those who love deeply and desire this incredible bond.


"In Corridors of Eternal Time is a remarkable book, not just because the author takes us through the various stages of her grief at the death of her pet, but because, after death, her pet cat repeatedly and in continuously new ways let her know that he is still conscious and still cares for her the same as when he was alive. We are left wondering if there are similar ways in which our own deceased pets may also be attempting to communicate with us." Christopher Comins

"Many of us are blessed by a deep love for animals. Jan Kolb is blessed by a talent for giving voice to this deep love. Through Jan, we connect to our deepest, loveliest feelings. Her gift is a natural gift, and we are truly the better for it." Martin Scot Kosins, author, Maya's First Rose

Table of Contents

A Word in Preparation
A Tribute

It Is Such a Secret Place
Holy Week (3/3-3/7)
My Angel (3/10-3/17)
A Circle of Eternal Love (Sat. 3/9)
Our Memorial Service (Sun. 3/10)
In Remembrance (Mon. 3/11)
In the Beginning (Tue. 3/12)
A Ritual of Bonding (Th. 3/14)
The First Friday (Fri. 3/15)
Seeking Help (Mon. 3/18)
Home Again (Wed. 3/20)
Precious Memorial (Fri. 3/22)
Presents of Presence (Mon. 3/25)
Maundy Thursday (Thurs. 3/28)
Good Friday (Fri. 3/28)
Easter Sunday (Sun. 3/31)
The Weight of a Loss (Tue. 4/2)
By Joy, Surprised (Fri. 4/5)
A New Dimension (Sat. 4/6)
Forever Together (Sun. 4/7)
Grieving (Wed. 4/10)
Mourning (Fri. 4/12)
Expectancy (Sun. 4/14)
The Fairy Ring (Tue. 4/16)
Rochester Lives (Fri. 4/19)
Parable of the Pennies (Sun. 4/21)
A Beloved Portrait (Mon. 4/22)
Impression of Love (Wed. 4/24)
Gifts from Our Loved Ones (Th. 4/25)
Friday's Grief-Friday's Gifts (Fri. 4/26)
Mary in Our Lives (Sat. 4/27)
Expect Nothing (Sun. 4/28)
A Journal for Grieving and Honoring (Mon. 4/29)
Longing (Tue. 4/30)
Sacred Space (Wed. 5/1)
Eight Weeks (Fri. 5/3)
Words from an Old Journal (Tue. 5/7)
Other Worldly Blessings (Fri. 5/10)
Pennies from Heaven (Sun. 5/12)
Memory Loss (Mon. 5/13)
The Floral Tin (Tue. 5/14)
Making a Connection (Wed. 5/15)
Ten Weeks (Fri. 5/17)
Sacramental (Sun. 5/19)
Food for Thought and Spirit (Tue. 5/21)
Icon of Love (Th. 5/23)
An Invisible Cord (Fri. 5/24)
Night Visitor (Sat. 5/25)
Reflection on Dreams
Rochester's Room (Mon. 5/27)
Rochester's Birthday (Th. 5/30)
The Vigil (Fri. a.m. 5/31)
Rochester's Eternal Gift (Fri. p.m. 5/31)
My Father's Birthday (Sun. 6/2)
Woodland Paths (Wed. 6/5)
Maya (Sun. 6/9)
Learning to Live (Tues. 6/11)
Rings of Solace (Fri. 6/14)
Polar Bear (Wed. 6/19)
A New Leg of My Journey (Th. 6/20)
Everywhere (Fri. 6/21)
Forever (Sun. 6/23)
Gift of Tears (Mon. 6/24)
Afterword (Fri. 7/5)
My Angel and Star (Mon. 7/8)
Postscript (Fri. 7/19)
Postscript 2 (Sun. 7/21)
Heartbeat (Th. 8/29)
Rediscovering an Earth Angel (Th. 8/29)
A Final Thought (Fri. 8/30)
Hymn-A Place in Eternity


I have written this book to honor a beloved little love, companion, friend, encourager, and angel with whom I have spent almost sixteen years. It is a journal of our love and blessed existence together and was begun immediately after Rochester went to Heaven. Without Rochester I did not know how to go on. We love each other so deeply I could not accept what had happened, and that I would not have him to hold in my arms any longer and to share life. I still have not accepted it. It washes over me and suffocates at times.

The day before he left I was shown by him a wondrous secret. The next evening as he left it was fulfilled in a deeply spiritual and other worldly manner. It has been my utter strength, even during all my ongoing grief and desolation. You will read about it in the pages of this journal. Too, writing this journal to honor him has sustained me when I thought I could not go on. I was to learn even more from him in these weeks and months that followed, for he is ever with me and I know he always shall be.

I have written this journal also to help myself while honoring Rochester. It is our journal. We belong to each other forever. I write this too to help others who may be grieving for a beloved animal companion or a human, for you see there is no difference in grieving. When you love deeply and unconditionally, and your beloved one has finished his life on earth, it can be devastating to lose his or her physical presence. As does the author of the quotation that opens this Introduction, I believe that all life is sacred in every form and that the lives of people and animals are equal. It is not always accepted, even by those whom you consider close to you, but there are many in this world who believe in this way. There are less in the Christian tradition.

People wonder how you can be so devoted to an animal companion that you could give up people-oriented activities if it meant a too long absence from your animal. Many feel that it does not much matter if animals get sick or die, for you can always get another one. People wonder too, how the company of an animal companion for long hours each day can be fulfilling and satisfying. There are those who do find it so beautifully satisfying that an animal is their only companion day and night, and they will not give up that animal for another human. Only those who have lived with an animal in partial or total solitude can understand the beauty and depth of such a relationship; the sacredness, the commitment of both animal and human to the other, the unfathomable love, the extraordinary communication. Too, that when the relationship on earth is forced to end the human is left feeling like walking death, a shell, that does not think it possible to go on. And animals also feel this and grieve at the loss of their beloved human, sometimes refusing any sociability and food, and often die.

And not many want to be near such a person in this state, at least not alone with them for too long. Often family and friends space themselves from the one grieving and often they go for long periods at a time without contact, or forever. This grief is not understandable to most, and frequently not to your own family members.

Yet would they think you especially strange if you were grieving over a person? (Actually I was once reprimanded by a relative for having tears in her presence over my Dad, two months after his death.)

But there is no decision to be made by the one who has lost their blessed animal companion for they will never be the same, and if humans have distanced themselves or left completely it cannot be reasoned with. There is no desire to defend oneself. The one who experienced the loss will never change within. He would rather live with the precious memories and the spiritual presence of his animal companion than with those who were superficially his friends. The lack of understanding about the deaths of precious animal companions is the least of the pain and anguish felt. Frankly it really does not matter. The bereaved realizes this as time passes. What was never present in understanding when one's animal companion was alive cannot be expected to be different when one's beloved companion goes to Heaven. Expect nothing! Expect nothing-so as not to add to your heartbreak. Grieve for your beloved companion in your own way and do not expect others to understand. This can give a certain peace. And during your grief there may be one or two persons surface who truly are there if you need them.

Blue Dolphin Publishing, 2003

Other books by Janice Kolb:
Compassion for All Creatures
Journal of Love
The Enchantment of Writing
Higher Ground
Beneath the Stars & Trees ... there is a place
Beside the Still Waters
Solace of Solitude
A Pilgrim on Life's Road
Silent Keepers
Reflections by the Lake
The Adventures of Luki Tawdry
Reverence for All Life
Whispered Notes

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