God, Writing, Life, Grief, memoir

Revisiting Chapter 19 – Wrecked on Schedule

Death matters, and you never ever get over it.

The sentence that starts this chapter dealing with the reality of death that we all must face. Our own and especially the death of those we love. We don’t know when it may occur but the clock keeps ticking off the seconds until that inevitable moment.

There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say birth does not matter.

C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Impending death and the aftermath of death changes us. It is an ending to a chapter.

Not the end of our story.

For our story continues albeit with a dramatic ‘plot twist!’ that changes everything and an open road now lies before us

There are many rituals, both cultural and personal, that we carry into the future with us. In many cases, in my opinion, we sterilize death especially in America. I talk at some length about this in this chapter and my disdain for it.

We often fail to grieve… in any true sense of the word. Instead, we often believe the best thing you can do with death is to ride off from it.

Hell, I still struggle with it to this day almost 30 years after her death. So, another question – where and what does that say about me?

And then there is the subject of the after life. Of angels, demons and supposed communications with the dead. I have had only dreams, very few, of Luka and never a visitation from a ghost or spirit. Hers or any other.

I have spoke at length about this topic in two live video interviews I did which are still available –

Death, a simple word really, only one syllable but containing worlds filled with promises, rewards, fear, mystery, beginnings, and endings. It is a reality and one that we all must face.

Death, a simple word really, only one syllable but containing worlds filled with promises, rewards, fear, mystery, beginnings, and endings. It is a reality and one that we all must face.

-Chapter 19, page 169, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

Get your copy of Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry here >

And a review on Amazon or Goodreads would be very much appreciated.  Thanks again! 

> If you are struggling with moving forward following the death of a loved on and searching for your best “Life After”, reach out.

Leave a comment or email me at info@markschutter.com. I’ll follow up with some additional information and how to book a free call to chat and see if I can help. Thanks!

I am Mark W. Schutter, “Life After” Coach and Author of the memoir, 𝐂𝐨𝐰𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐬 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐫𝐲, and we all need a little support sometimes.

Read my thoughts on previous chapters of my memoir, links below.

Part 1 – Reconciling the Past

Part 2 – Embracing the Present

Part 3 – Redeeming the Future

Now, saddle up! The adventure that is your “Life After” awaits! 

God, Grief, memoir, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 18 – Death Feeds Life, Children

She never got the opportunity to have her own children. Life or fate, whatever you call it, prevented that from ever happening. Her battles with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the ensuing treatments as a younger child most likely rendered her sterile.

In that moment, my mind followed my heart, and my decision was made. I wanted her to be my wife someday, knowing that children for us would probably never come.

Chapter 18, page 157, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

As long as I knew here though she poured her heart and soul into other peoples children. Working at a daycare and a children’s museum she showed those children love and acceptance and pointed them to a faith in Yeshua.

God often redeems and restores what was lost. I remarried and ten years later my wonderful wife and I had our first and only child, a daughter who is becoming a very strong young lady. The guilt ran through me then, it does not now.

I believe now this is how it was supposed to be. I am her and her mother’s provider, protector and knight.

At the age of forty, I became a father to a beautiful little girl. She grew, and the circle keeps coming full circle and maybe, just maybe, God has an impeccable send of comedic timing.

Chapter 18, page 160, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

She has her momma’s heart, is gracious and kind and loves horses like her daddy. She is a cowgirl through and through. God has blessed me beyond measure and more than I deserve. But then again, what we actually deserve often has nothing to do with it.

I am Mark W. Schutter, “Life After” Coach and Author of the memoir, 𝐂𝐨𝐰𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐬 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐫𝐲, and we all need a little support sometimes.

If you are struggling with moving forward following the death of a loved one and searching for your best “Life After,” please leave a comment or email me at info@markschutter.com.

I’ll follow up with some additional information and how to book a free call to chat and see if I can help.

P.S. – Those are my daughters favorite boots!

Get your copy of Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry here >

And a review on Amazon or Goodreads would be very much appreciated.  Thanks again! 

Read my thoughts on previous chapters of my memoir, links below.

Part 1 – Reconciling the Past

Part 2 – Embracing the Present

Part 3 – Redeeming the Future

Now, saddle up! The adventure that is your “Life After” awaits! 

Life, memoir

Men, Mental Health, Grief, and Finding Life After

New interview on the podcast The Death Dialogues Project

Men, Mental Health, Grief, and Finding Life After

Take a listen and be sure to leave a comment there and below letting me know what you think.

Be sure to follow The Death Dialogues Project on:

For a companion piece in which I was mentioned read the following article on Substack by Becky Aud-Jennison founder of The Death Dialogues Project.

The Aftermath – Grief: Processing, Honoring or Denying

“The aftermath of death will have its way with us one way or the other.”

Quote from the article.

PS – My memoir Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry is still available.

Grab your print or e-book copy today!

Grief, memoir, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 17 – Physical Beauty and Emotional Scars

Sometimes the words fade…

~Mark Wayne, chapter 17, Page 149

This chapter was not only one of, but may have been the hardest chapter to write, and even more so to include in my memoir.

I have feelings of anxiety, knowing others have read the words I wrote, and proud of myself at the same time. The honesty and transparency regarding the emotional and physical intimacy that can occur within a marriage, is evident. The words reveal so much of my own insecurities and failures, and I assume many of hers as well.

I pray the words, speak to others that the battles we face are sometimes behind closed doors where no one sees. At a point where I was struggling when writing my story, my daughter gave me a handwritten note that simply said,

“Somebody out there needs your story.” ❤

So, I kept writing spurred on by her encouragement and love. Until finally, after many months I held the finished book in my hands. I pray it helps others feel not so alone.

Back to the chapter at hand. I won’t go into detail here about the content of the chapter suffice to say it is about physical and emotional beauty, attraction and desire between a man and a woman. God given desires of our hearts I believe.

We live in a paradox of what society says is the “ideal” when behind closed doors it often falls short of that imagined perfection. The reality is often so different, at least it was in my case, and maybe hers’ as well, who’s to say? And so we move forward battling together and alone at the same time.

Sometimes all you can do is live with it.

Page 153, Chapter 17, 𝐂𝐨𝐰𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐬 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐫𝐲

The scars… both physical and emotional that we all carry from the wounds we have been dealt in this life. I did not understand it then and I certainly don’t pretend to understand it now, these thirty years later. I realize there are more questions here than answers, just like in the chapter of my memoir. So I will leave you with the following quote.

The best is perhaps what is understood least.

~C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Get your copy of Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry here >

And a review on Amazon or Goodreads would be very much appreciated.  Thanks again! 

> If you are struggling with moving forward following the death of a loved on and searching for your best “Life After”, reach out.

Leave a comment or email me at info@markschutter.com. I’ll follow up with some additional information and how to book a free call to chat and see if I can help. Thanks!

I am Mark W. Schutter, “Life After” Coach and Author of the memoir, 𝐂𝐨𝐰𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐬 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐫𝐲, and we all need a little support sometimes.

Read my thoughts on previous chapters of my memoir, links below.

Part 1 – Reconciling the Past

Part 2 – Embracing the Present

Part 3 – Redeeming the Future

Now, saddle up! The adventure that is your “Life After” awaits! 

Grief, Life, memoir, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 16 – Holding Space to Dream Big

“From the mind of a nine-and-one-half year-old the world is infinitely large and everything is possible… She sees the world as full of opportunity and promise. Oh, how I envy her at times.”

~Chapter 16, Page 141, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

The death of someone we love often results in the death of so many dreams we had with that person also. Pursing dreams that were made together in hopes of them one day coming true. That possibility, with them, is now gone. So…

What do you now do with those dreams?

  • Continue on pursuing those same dreams without them, as a tribute to their memory?
  • Reevaluate those dreams in light of them not being there with you and pursue them in a different way?
  • Shuck those dreams all together and … hopefully… come to realize new dreams?

You had dreams with them, now what dreams do you have for yourself?

Are you still holding out with hope?

I think about dreams now long gone, new dreams that have emerged and taken their place and the questions that still linger. The words we use so easily, such as widowed, widow, widower, bereaved, lost, deprived, absence… does it matter?

When the reality is they died. That is the reality that we now live in, a world without their physical presence and all those dreams that were tied up in our lives with them.

Whether we believe it or not, the truth is still the truth.

Chapter 16, page 146, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

Never stop “holding space to dream big” and if you can hold space for the dreams of a better future for others.

Get your copy of Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry here >

And a review on Amazon or Goodreads is very much appreciated.  Thanks again! 

> If you are struggling with moving forward following the death of a loved on and searching for your best “Life After”, reach out.

Leave a comment or email me at info@markschutter.com. I’ll follow up with some additional information and how to book a free call to chat and see if I can help. Thanks!

I am Mark W. Schutter, “Life After” Coach and Author of the memoir 𝐂𝐨𝐰𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐬 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐫𝐲, and we all need a little support sometimes.

Read my thoughts on previous chapters of my memoir, links below.

Part 1 – Reconciling the Past

Part 2 – Embracing the Present

Part 3 – Redeeming the Future

Now, saddle up! The adventure that is your “Life After” awaits!

God, Life, memoir

Revisiting Chapter 15 – The Judgment of a Bad Man

This is the first chapter of the third section, Redeeming the Future, of my memoir 𝐂𝐨𝐰𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐬 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐫𝐲.

I have given a lot of thought over the years about reminders, and so much is a reminder of a life once lived in another time and place.

I have ordained myself as judge, jury, and executioner of my fate, rarely asking where is God in all of this?

“Every once in while I almost get through a day without thinking about who I am and what I’d done.” ~Charley Waite (Kevin Costner), Open Range #Quote #Westerns #Cowboys

The above quote haunts me and I share it later in Chapter 22 of my book, and we’ll get there soon, but it seems to fit in this chapter also. We do things in this life, and things happen whether intended or not, and there are consequences. Some of these things stay with us as we seek redemption. We hide from the truth and we lie to ourselves and others. Our thoughts spiral and we chastise ourselves for those thoughts we deem wicked, and sometimes simply unkind.

I know for many years I lived, and often still do, in fear of becoming the man I dread that I might be, based on the enemies lies whispered in my ears. These stories, we have each created and written, in which we find ourselves living in each and every day.

Is the story I (we) tell true?

That is what we must each come to terms with. And when we do, we must either renounce the vows and the lies or forgive ourselves, and others, for the wrongs committed.

“We can rise from the ashes and the darkness deep, for there is forgiveness, even for those who find they are still believing the lies, regardless of the thoughts in my head that tell me I am a bad man, a complete screwup at times, or just a beautiful mess wrecked right on schedule, as he should be by what life has thrown at him.”

~Chapter 15, Page 139

Get your copy of Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry here >

And a review on Amazon or Goodreads would be very much appreciated.  Thanks again! 

> If you are struggling with moving forward following the death of a loved on and searching for your best “Life After”, reach out.

Leave a comment or email me at info@markschutter.com. I’ll follow up with some additional information and how to book a free call to chat and see if I can help. Thanks!

I am Mark W. Schutter, “Life After” Coach and Author of the memoir 𝐂𝐨𝐰𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐬 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐫𝐲, and we all need a little support sometimes.

Read my thoughts on previous chapters of my memoir, links below.

Part 1 – Reconciling the Past

Part 2 – Embracing the Present

Now, saddle up! The adventure that is your “Life After” awaits! 👊