This article has evolved from my own struggles with the chaos, depression, anxiety, despair of a loss of my only beloved sister and best friend in May of 2008. It reflects my experience of loss not only of a mourner but a psychotherapist.
As Anne Brener describes in her book Mourning and Mitzvah, the process of mourning is a time of contraction wherein the bright light and divine energy of our world withdraw. This creates a darkness without seemingly an end. When my sister died, I felt like all the color in my world had turned to black and white with a small stream of red blood streaming through. Almost as if a switch had clicked over and nothing was the the same or would be ever again.