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  • Cynthia Coupe

The Roller Coaster of Grief

Updated: May 5, 2022

Here is the first post I put on Facebook before I began this blog. I'm including this here because it gives some background to what the grief cycle is like for me, and will bring you up to date for my coming posts:

January 21st, 2022:I vacillate between so many emotions, in this liminal space between death and life. Yesterday I was angry…so angry that I screamed to the wind…howled to the sky. I have to take care of all the fucking things…the garbage, the wood, the laundry, cooking, tending to the animals, the kid, our work, vehicles…and add to it deaths paperwork, probate, lawyers, bills and more. The list was long enough when it was two of us, and now it’s that much more intense.

I talked to Marisela she reminded me this was how it was meant to be…Frank was never meant to be in my life for long, but I was meant to be in his at the end. I was the love he searched his life for…And he was mine.

So then I think about our souls’ contract, how this is what we agreed to before we were born, but forgot about when we embodied this life. I recognized him when I first laid eyes on him, I knew him from somewhere, but really it was stardust. Not this time-space.

We were hot, like an inferno, so hot. Burst the temperature of 1,000 suns…we were going places. He was the jet-fuel pack that had to disengage.

Who knew the rocket launch we saw prior to my TEDX talk in November would have been such a foreshadowing of what was about to happen…

His death.


I’m reeling.

Yesterday I stood at the oceans edge and screamed to the waves “I love you Frank James Menhams!!! I will live in your honor. I will turn my anger into strength, my grief into joy, my heartbreak into love. I will not walk this earth without you because you are within me. Thank you for everything you gave to me, my daughter, my life. It is so much greater and bigger than we ever could have imagined. Thank you for letting me love you so completely! For being a partner in transformation and joy.”

And then I cried. I cried ugly, sobbing tears because I will never see him again. Never hold him, smell him, taste him. My senses will not be filled by his presence.

Ah, Frank.

This culture does not talk about death. We only know how to say “I’m sorry” but we do not talk about it. We stop talking of our loved ones so as to not burden the other with our story.

And death edges into religion, into the areas we’re already protected from talking about. We’re trained to not discuss “politics or religion” with people, so as not to rock the boat…but how do we process death if we don’t talk about it? And how do we grieve if we can’t share our feelings?

I, for one, believe Frank is safely on the other side. He is everywhere…the sun, trees, birds. I see the world through his eyes: joy in the everyday. Celebration of the beauty of nature! In fact, I think the beauty of nature was constructed specifically to help us through grief. Something so beautiful can only be here as a gift from beyond. We just forgot…we get to observe and love, to return to joy…

Frank lived this life fully in both worlds. He was in touch with spirit, Jesus, the great beyond. He reveled in corporeal pleasures…food, drink, sex, sunlight…he knew being human was precious, was to be looked at with reverence and joy…he was a natural drummer, always the rhythm of the earth in his veins. Tapping, beating, slapping on whatever was near. Sometimes it was my thighs (god I loved that!) or my belly (certainly not taught by any means, but he could tap a rhythm in the most unexpected of places…)!

And I will honor him. I am changed, forever different. I will honor him with my grief, as I transform into something new. I will bask in the sun, dance naked, celebrate life and love like never before.

My heart is cracked, shattered and fractured. But that means there is space for the light to get in. I will rise, and live fully, but for now I grieve. The loss is so deep, so everywhere.

He was my night in shining armor, the yin to my yang, the man who taught me how to love deeply and in return be truly loved.

I love you, Frank Menhams

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