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  • Cynthia Coupe

Light and Dark

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

Most days I walk through life feeling like I’m on two sides of the same sword, dancing on the blade. It’s not bad, or good, it simply is. I’ve lived in a wake/sleep world since January 7th, transforming as I eke down this new path.

I think back to all that has happened and it literally feels like a dream state…readying Frank for cremation, the first load of his laundry I did after he died, packing his belongings and giving them to charity... sorting the boxes of his things, moving our home, growing the business, caring for my daughter. I have difficulty making any kind of decision, can’t remember conversations, and have stacks of paperwork that need completion…you know, general grief brain type of shit.

I get lost regularly. Every time I go somewhere new I can’t find my way around, even with a map. I can’t understand written directions, need alone time every day, and lose my temper easily.

I also am more kind and compassionate, talk to more strangers, stop to smell the roses or take a nap.

I’m actively transforming after being thrown somewhere I never dreamed I would be. Not this way, not this early on. I’m the same person, and yet…I’m not. Part of me has died.

In some ways it’s entirely freeing: all of a sudden I have no fucks to give. I can’t push anything, don’t want to. I go with the flow, though I am working hard as heck towards the future…full steam ahead towards a new horizon.

I don’t fully know what the change is that’s taking place, if it’s permanent or temporary, but I can feel it. Even as I write these words tears swell up, and fall down my cheeks, affirming that my suspicion is correct. I’m a not-me-me, forever changed and in the process of deep transformation.

Frank and I did a lot of work between light and dark, shadow and light, joy and pain. I had found myself exploring this space years before, but it was really our relationship that brought us to navigate between the two worlds. Now I see it play between things like master and student, grief and joy…struggle and resilience.

Frank was my North, South, East and West. He was my light in the dark, my business partner, lover, spiritual advocate, an intellectual match, best friend, co-parent, travel buddy, and confidant. I put all my eggs in one basket. I didn’t hedge my bets, or diversify my funds…

I don’t know how to express the pain of losing somebody who was your everything. It’s mind-numbing and surreal. It has given me a whole new sense of (dark) humor and a whole new set of friends.

I realize I am my own center, which has kept me from spinning out completely as I go through this cosmic rendering of alchemical transmutation.

I am greatly appreciative for the people that reach out, check in on me, share food, laughs…texts. I am grateful for those who have lit my way, who don’t judge me when I break into tears. Grateful for my friend I can text in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, and for those that understand when I have to cancel plans at the last minute.

Despite all the difficulties and pain, it is my honor to be on this path, to have been given a direction I would never pick, could never pick, wouldn’t ever want to pick…It's the highest be in pain and gratitude at the same time. To be bereft yet holding the lantern to light the path because damn this shit is dark and there has got to be light...

I'll be here, dancing on both sides of the sword...spending time in movement and stillness, holding and releasing because I am still growing, even as I've died.

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