Sometimes you have to walk away…
Chapter 3 began taking shape in my mind following a conversation with my therapist. As usual we were discussing Luka’s death and the impacts on me, when I mentioned that in the moments after she died. I spoke about remembering standing by her bedside where she lay. Thinking to myself, there was nothing else I could do. I had to and needed to walk away. Yet, I stayed for several moments by her bedside.
I knew I needed to walk away. To turn from this lifeless body that lay in front of me that had held my whole world. There was nothing left for me to do for her.
I recall my therapist staring at me in silence for several seconds before he spoke softly. “It’s interesting in all my experience you are the first person to talk about that. I mean we talk about the death and then we jump to the funeral proceedings and all the logistical things around death. No one has ever mentioned before, those moments immediately following someone dying and what those left behind have to do.”
I swallowed hard and responded, “Yeah, her death was peaceful and calm but then what? I stood there, knowing she was dead and then realizing that was it. I had to turn away from everything I knew and walk away, leaving her there alone. That was hard.”
I don’t recall if I thought about all those things that would never be again or just the among of willpower it took to move my feet and leave her behind. Our time together in the physical world was done.
“Time together was the only thing, just being with her, sitting talking, watching movies, and holding her hand, so many things that I now believe may have helped her breathe a little easier in those moments.”CHAPTER 3, WALKING AWAY, PAGE 40 – MARK W. SCHUTTER
There would be no more talks, no more movies, no more time together. Only the memories of what once was. I still carry those memories, nothing can take them away, although the edges of my memory may have frayed and faded a bit. That is just time eroding what once was. I was heading towards my 29th birthday…
“I was lost at sea with on wind in my sails. I had the freedom to do, to be, to go anywhere I wanted, and I did not want that freedom. I was free to walk away. How do you reconcile that?”CHAPTER 3. WALKING AWAY, PAGE 42 – MARK W. SCHUTTER
A man says “I’m alright” when asked how he is because nobody cares?
I tend to disagree with the last line in the audio of the video that a man simply responds “I’m alright” because no one f&%king cares. I think others, men and women, do care.
The problem is we don’t always know how to care or show that we care. We don’t know what to do or say, especially men. We get uncomfortable with the feelings and vulnerability that this question invokes. Life is a struggle at times and no one is immune. Why can’t we acknowledge the struggle and the pain that we may be feeling?
Are you uncomfortable sharing your true feelings and if so why?
I think we have been programmed, again especially as men, to ignore our feelings of sadness, pain, regret and grief. And women are programmed to expect men to respond this way. Remember boys, and men, are supposed to be tough and strong. But why do we stereotype a man who is hurting and feeling as not being strong and tough?
What strength does it take to confront our pain and heal from it?
I talk a lot about expectations, real and perceived, that I accepted from society, family, friends when I was grieving. The impacts it has had on me and the struggles in my book – 𝘾𝙤𝙬𝙗𝙤𝙮𝙨 𝘼𝙧𝙚 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝘾𝙧𝙮.
When you ask a man how he is and he says “I’m alright.” #CowboysAreNotSupposedtoCry #MentalHealth #Men #Healing #LifeAfter #Trauma #Pain #Loss #GriefTweet
What emotions and feelings are you hiding from others?
The calendar has turned over to 2022, whether we welcome in the new year or not it is now here. It is indifferent to our feelings, our wants, our desires, and our needs. Time marches on as the hands on the clocks tick endlessly on until the batteries run down and the motor stops.
Is this a metaphor for our lives? Our lives move on, whether we do or not, until our batteries run down until we are faced with our own deaths and our life’s ending.
With everything going on in our world today, we can often feel lost. Maybe we need to intentionally get lost? Turn off the electronics and away from the incessant noise of social media and the news.
3 Tips – Get, Go, and Grab!
- Get outside into nature, put on a coat and hat if its cold, and turn off the notifications on your phone. Trust me you’ll be okay. 😉
- Go somewhere you’ve never been before and really look at what is in front of you. Especially if you don’t know where you are. 😎
- Grab someone you love and hold them tight. Feel their breathing and listen for there heartbeat. That is what’s important. 😚
Here’s to a great tomorrow!
Alone into the Alone
A far better place—the phrase echoes through my mind, and my faith tells me to believe in this. As a Christian don’t the words of our God tell us there is a far better place?
Yet I ask, what does that mean, and how do we know? We don’t know I often want to scream back. Instead, I and nod in a feinted attempt at agreement, holding onto hope, that there is a far better place.
An interesting chapter and maybe the most philosophical of the entire book, as I ask the questions that many have asked before me. The theological questions of life after death, what happens to us, is there a heaven and if so isn’t there a hell? Even atheists and agnostics with no faith in a god or a higher power have asked the question, wondering what is there after we die?
The last paragraph of chapter 1 of my memoir Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry speaks of Luka’s belief in a far better place. (You can read my thoughts and revisit of chapter 1 here.)
Luka was the one facing her own mortality, not me. She was the one who must venture alone into the alone, not me. I wonder even now what thoughts ran through her mind that she did not share with me. Or worse still those thoughts she did share and I have long forgotten. Her words tossed aside as if they were of no more importance than a scrap of garbage. What are you supposed to do with that?
Believe… in life after otherwise what’s the point?
There is something mysterious and mystical about a gray rainy PNW day. The silence and shadows will take you in and if you stop and listen you can hear God’s voice and words of truth.
It helps me to get away even briefly with the rush of the holiday season. To stop the busyness of work and the thousand and one things that vie for our attentions.
We must slow down and ask ourselves what is really important. Am I doing what God would have me do or just spinning my wheels in the mud?