The most profound poem I have ever read on grief was written by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno in her book Slamming Open the Door. She wrote this after her daughter was brutally murdered. For many years, our loss takes over every waking and sleeping moment. Nothing seems to exist but the pain and anguish of loss.
Death Barged In
In his Russian greatcoat, slamming open the door with an unpardonable bang, and he has been here ever since. He changes everything, rearranges the furniture, his hand hovers by the phone; he will answer now, he says; he will be the answer. Tonight he sits down to dinner at the head of the table as we eat, mute; later, he climbs into bed between us. Even as I sit here, he stands behind me clamping two colossal hands on my shoulders and bends down and whispers to my neck: from now on, you write about me.