Grief, Life, Stories

Things happen…

๐“๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง…

๐‘„๐‘ข๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘คโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘ฆ๐‘œ๐‘ข ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘‘๐‘œ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘–๐‘ก? ๐Ÿค”

From flat tires, to roof leaks, the horse favoring one leg, clients saying no, friends turning away, health issues, and even death.

๐“๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง…

๐ป๐‘œ๐‘ค ๐‘‘๐‘œ ๐‘ฆ๐‘œ๐‘ข โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘™๐‘’ ๐‘–๐‘ก ๐‘คโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘”๐‘  โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘๐‘’๐‘›? ๐Ÿค”

I am conducting market research gathering information from people like you about grief, loss, and healing. This data will help me to create the best resources for those who are hurting and struggling.

If you’re willing to answer a few questions send me a DM and we’ll setup a time to chat.

This is not a trick to get you on a sales call. Promise!

*๐˜ฝ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™‹๐™ค๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฆ๐™ช๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ: ๐Ÿค”

๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘š๐‘’ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘ฃ๐‘–๐‘’, ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ฆ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ ๐‘–๐‘ก ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘š๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ก, ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘  ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ฃ๐‘–๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘œ.

Share your answers in the comments. ๐Ÿ‘Š

Life, memoir, Stories

Revisiting Chapter 9 – Wearing Masks- “Who Are We Really?”

What hides behind the smiles and the vacant eyes? Arenโ€™t we tired of wearing masks? โ€” Mark Wayne, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry #Memoir #Grief #Healing #LifeAfter #Tramua https://amzn.to/3kdR49E

Chapter 9, Wearing Masks – “Who Are We Really?” is the beginning chapter of Part 2: Embracing the Present of my memoir Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry.

This chapter bounces from the recent present, to the fall of 2004 when my only child was born, and back to the summer of 1993 in the months following Luka’s death. The questions I pose throughout this chapter still remain to this day, although many have lost much of their roar and ferocity simply by the act of naming them and casting them out into the world through my memoir. And there is this…

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. ~C.S. Lewis #Quote #WickedQuestions #UnanswerableQuestions

Life is filled with unanswered and unanswerable questions and life seems so random at times. But what if there was a purpose of something larger than ourselves. how would we then live? The questions that haunt our waking hours would slowly melt away and others might rise to take there place.

  • God, what are you up to in all of this?
  • What is my true role in all of this?
  • What is my impact on others?
  • How can I … (fill in the blank)

Just a few questions that I have pondered as I walk this path set before me. As opposed to the why me questions, that still pop up from time to time. Pulling on my boots and moving forward because sometimes when you can you should.

I plodded through my days, often feigning a reluctant acceptance because, you know, cowboys don’t cry; they just ride away.

CHAPTER 9, WEARING MASKS – “WHO ARE WE REALLY?” – PAGE 85, MARK W. SCHUTTER

Read my thoughts on Part 1 – Reconciling the Past and the first eight chapters of my memoir, links below.

Grief, Life, memoir, Stories

Can You Do Me A Favor?

I need help in answering a few questions for market research related to grief and healing.

What grief are you still carrying?

Iโ€™m going all in on a new business coaching, mentoring, and helping men who are struggling with grief and healing from a traumatic experience and loss. Whether that be from the death of a loved one, relationships ending, financial hardship or job loss, the loss of a pet, and even the loss of a dream. Grief in it’s many forms impacts us all.

My memoir Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry was published last year which chronicles my own journey through loss, grief, and healing. I have my first hand experience walking through my own valley of the shadow to a life after and to make sure I have the greatest impact, and help the most men with the right solutions โ€“ Iโ€™m asking for your help in doing some market research.

Men needed, is this you? 

My goal is to interview 50 people, โ€“ yes, you read that correctly- so that I can get the best and most comprehensive insight as to what is needed in the area of navigating grief and healing for men from trauma.

The interview would only take between 15-30 minutes, and I promise, this is NOT a trick into asking people to be my clients, this is literally just market research so I make sure my programs and offerings are exactly what is needed.

Would you mind doing an interview with me? To make it super easy, just send me an email to mark@markschutter.com, let me know you are in and weโ€™ll schedule a call.

Like I said, my goal is to interview 50 people so any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

My ideal client

Describes themselves as male who has experienced a significant loss regardless of when it happened and struggles with moving forward, healing, and finding purpose in their life after. They ultimately want joy, contentment and purpose for their lives but havenโ€™t been able to get there on their own yet.

And I have an ask of the women too!

Iโ€™m hoping you might know 1-3 men who fit the description above. And if so, would you be willing to introduce them to me?

If yes for this, then please email me at mark@markschutter.com, CCโ€™ing whoever you have in mind and Iโ€™ll follow up with them with some additional information and how to book a call.

Like I said, my goal is to interview 50 men and a few women, so any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

And you can purchase Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry at any of the following >

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

Grief, memoir, Stories

Revisiting Chapter 2 – A Far Better Place

Alone into the Alone

A far better placeโ€”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?

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes
Grief, Life, memoir, Stories, Writing

Pay it Forward – Will You Purpose to Commit Intentional Acts of Kindness?

Signed copies of my memoir being packaged for delivery!

There is still time to order your own copy and one or two or three… as a gift for some else in time for the holidays. PAY IT FORWARD! ๐Ÿ‘Š Available in print and e-book.

You can also reach out to me here on my website to purchase signed copies. Here’s some comments I have received from readers –

  • Your story touched my heart in more ways than I can even explain. Even though it triggered a lot of sadness and emotions it also gave me hope.
  • Just finished the first chapter of your book and I must tell you how beautiful your words are. You have such an amazing gift. Thank you for sharingโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ
  • I will have to say I have never read a book like yours before. I read a lot! I do want to tell you that this book is absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

There is always hope of ‘life after…” and hope is never a small thing. #CowboysAreNotsupposedtoCry #Memoir #Grief #Healing #Trauma #LifeAfter https://www.amzn.com/1639031022 

Stories, Writing

A Conversation – What is truth?

Sharing a piece of writing I did recently below, let me know what you think in the comments.

โ€œWhat is truth?โ€

The words like honey slowly covered me in the air around me. He sat quietly, his eyes soft and inquiring. Simply waiting as if he had all the time in the world, which he did.

I averted his loving gaze as my feet scraped the linoleum floor beneath the table. I fidgeted in my seat and running my hand over my head and through my hair before looking back into his clear eyes. Eyes that carried so much emotion, strength and power. Like the ocean waves that never ceased washing up on shore it was hard to look away once our eyes locked. My upper teeth bit into my lower lip as it curled inward and I swallowed hard. I felt the lump in my throat like a huge wad of dry bed I could barely get down.

And still he waited his hands clasped in front of him, fingers intertwined, as they rested on the table top. I stared across the dark wood of the table and took a deep breath and exhaled loudly. His expression did not change. My voice trembled as I began to speak, the tone carried none of the sarcastic authority that I had intended.

โ€œWhat is truth?โ€

He continued to stare, his eyes softening a little at my remark causing my anger to rise and leaning forward I spat out the words.

โ€œYou quote those words back at me like I am the villain here? You have no idea what I have been through. How hard this is.โ€

I sat back in my chair as shame washed over me as soon as the words had let my mouth and hung in the air between us. And yet his loving gaze never changed. My mind swirled and I felt myself feeling light headed. I grasped the edge of the table to steady myself before softly saying.

โ€œI donโ€™t know what you want from me.โ€

He only stared, as small smile played at the corners of his lips. We sat staring at each other for several seconds, his eyes never leaving my face before he said in a soft voice.

โ€œYou can trust me. You know that donโ€™t you?โ€

I swallowed hard again my throat was dry. I reached for the glass of water on the table and before I could reach it, he swiftly reached out his hand and gently pushed it towards me. I smiled through clenched lips and nodded a thank you as my fingers closed around the cold glass. Bring it to my lips I drank deeply the cool clear water cascading down my throat like a waterfall over the edge of a cliff.

I set the glass down heavily back on the table with a loud thud as it slipped from my grasp. I quickly glanced up at him in surprise at the sharp clack of the glass with the wooden table top. His expression still did not change and as our eyes met, he said.

โ€œYou have not answered my question.โ€

I feigned what I hoped was a surprised ignorance and spoke in a voice that I hoped conveyed a non-interest, โ€œWhat question is that?โ€

โ€œI did not come here to play games with you. Time is short and there is much to do.โ€

His response was immediate and pointed his voice rising only barely from the soft-spoken words of earlier. Although, I could feel the emphasis that emanated from his comment. I hesitated knowing he deserved an answer to his question but afraid of my own response. He sat back in the chair and continued to speak and although subtle his tone seemed a shade softer.

โ€œYou remember the stories I have told?โ€ He questioned, continuing not waiting for me to reply.

โ€œI use them to communicate truth. I know, I know we are back to the beginning now. What is truth? Right? The age-old question that has haunted man, driven him to seek, and even caused him to go against his very nature at times in the quest for truth. There truly is no depth of depravity for the truly wicked. But that is not what we are here to discuss. So, I letโ€™s get back on topic, shall we?โ€

He paused for a moment staring intently at me. I nodded slowly, my throat was now dry again and I glanced quickly at the now empty glass on the table top, licking my lips as I did so. He continued to stare at me and if his gaze had not been so unobtrusive it would have been unnerving but rather it felt oddly comforting.

โ€œI am, and all I am asking if for you to believe and if you trust me.โ€

I felt the swell of anger explode like a volcano spewing lava and clouds of ash into the air as I grabbed the table edge hard with my hands and shouted.

โ€œWhat is truth? Do you trust me? Why the questions, why the damn questions! I am so tired, tired of trying and yet, I donโ€™t know what else to do. I am seeking this truth you mention and also trying to trust. I least I think I am but it gets me nowhere. So, I ask you who do I trust? If I trust you are there others also? What then? What then!โ€

โ€œIs it too much to ask that I find some solace and answers to my questions. Living in this dungeon of mystery is almost too much. The darkness seems overwhelming and suffocating. I wander through the days each no different from the one before and on and on it goes.โ€

โ€œYou say trust me, what then? You are the only one I trust and stillโ€ฆ it seems to get me nowhere. You see that donโ€™t you? How could you not understand? How could you sit there just staring like it doesnโ€™t matter? What is wrong with you? I always believed you cared, I always wanted to believe that you cared. Now it seems I donโ€™t matter? What am I supposed to do with that?โ€

โ€œEvery inspirational Hallmark card couldnโ€™t make this better nor fix things. It is what it is.โ€

My voice trailed off as I shrunk back in my chair exhausted from my outburst my eyes averting his gaze. Finally, after several seconds of silence I slowly looked up and the love and concern emanating from his eyes overwhelmed me. The strength of his gaze would have knocked me to the ground if I had not been sitting in the chair. As it was, I felt my back press tighter against the wooden slates behind me.

โ€œI only ask that you trust me. The rest is often irrelevant and often inconsequential to this story. Your story. For you see you can only read a book one page at time, on word and one sentence at a time. This also applies to your life. For it is only lived forward, not backwards and not all at once. One step, or one page at a time. And we donโ€™t see what is on the next page until we get there.โ€

He smiled and I felt the warmth of his love wash over me. I nodded suddenly so weary it was all I could do to hold my head up and keep his gaze. Leaning forward he reached a tanned arm across the table and gently took my hand in his. It was warm and comforting, soft and rugged at the same time. I bowed my head, my chin to my chest as the tears began quickly rolling down my cheeks and falling onto my leg causing dark blue spots on my jeans.

Continuing to hold my hand he said nothing. I cried, the tears flowing easily and effortlessly and I let them come. It was cathartic and if I had wanted to, I donโ€™t know if I could have stopped them. After a few minutes the tears ceased to flow and I lifted my head to see his eyes still staring at me with the same look of compassion and love. I heard the sound through the open window of the last autumn leaves rustling in the trees. It was a melodic wind chime sound of nature. For a moment I was transported.

The meadow in front of me was vast, the tall golden grasses waving in the breeze. On the far side of the meadow was a stand of aspen trees. Their leaves were still in full glory and they flashed as golden coins suspended at the end of each small whiteish branch. The sky overhead was a canvas of blue as the sun was sinking behind the mountain range far to the west. I scanned the scene reveling in the solitude and quiet. Nothing here that troubled me mattered and all was as it should be. I felt the last rays of the sunโ€™s warmth on my arms and I relished the embrace. I stood motionless listening to the soft rustling of the grasses. It felt like home, or at least what I imagined home to be like, for I had never known what a real home was.

Warm, comforting, and inviting.  Most of safe, a place where one could go to retreat to escape to and also to move forward. My soul yearned for just such a place and I felt the warm tear roll down my check before it touched my lips and I tasted the salt on my tongue. The voice came from nowhere and everywhere at once. It surrounded me and held me fast in an embrace.

โ€œDo you trust me?โ€

I slowly nodded my head as and heard the shriek. Quickly glancing up into the sky I saw the red-tailed hawk soaring high overhead across the meadow. He circled once before flying off towards the aspen grove and disappearing over the tree tops.

โ€œIf you want to know, what truth is you must trust me.โ€

My eyes shot open and he was still staring at me with love and concern. As I stared into his eyes, I would have sworn I saw a hint of sadness there also.

Grief, memoir, Stories

Cowboys … Cry?

Vulnerable transparency post!

My just released memoir is titled:

Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

So why is that the past few days I have been on the edge of tears?

There is so much going on in my life right now both personally and professionally, more to come on that later.

Not to mention the chaotic and confusing world we find ourselves living in right now. But like the Ringo Kid (John Wayne) said in Stagecoach

“Well, there are some things a man just can’t run away from. “

My friends I am not running but I am being wise as every warrior must be if they are to survive and thrive. May God bless you. Stay strong and remember sometimes even the strongest cowboys cry.

The print copy of my book (memoir) is available now on Amazon.
Life, Stories, Writing

A Story of Hope and Healing

I really like this black and white alternative image of the cover to my #UpcomingBook! I still like the colored version best but this definitely gives it an interesting feel. What do you think? ๐Ÿค”

๐‚๐จ๐ฐ๐›๐จ๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐€๐ซ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ญ ๐’๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐‚๐ซ๐ฒ

My #memoir will soon be published by Christian Faith Publishing and hopefully will be available within the next month or so.

“๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜บ, ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ฆ…” ๐Ÿ‘Š

I share my personal journey of carrying grief and healing, while navigating my own personal and the societal expectations surrounding grief that are often placed upon men.

I can’t wait for both men and the women who love their men in their lives, to read it as it is ultimately a story of hope and healing. โค I also believe my story will speak to some ladies out there as well.

Sign here on the website ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ ๐—ช๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ป๐—ฒ – ๐—”๐˜‚๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ช๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ฟ to receive an occasional email with updates about my book and other exciting news. ๐Ÿ‘Š

P.S. Have a nice day! ๐Ÿค  Exodus 15:3

#LiveYourDreams

I share my personal journey of carrying grief and healing, while navigating my own personal and the societal expectations surrounding grief that are often placed upon men. #Memoir #CowboysAreNotSupposedtoCry #Healing #MentalHealth

I can’t wait for both men and the women who love their men in their lives, to read it as it is ultimately a story of hope and healing. โค I also believe my story will speak to some ladies out there as well. #Memoir #CowboysAreNotSupposedtoCry #Healing #MentalHealth

Grief, Stories, Writing

My Memoir is Coming! Interior title page, Part 1 -Reconciling the Past

Title page of ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐Ÿญ- ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ from my upcoming #memior ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™—๐™ค๐™ฎ๐™จ ๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™š ๐™‰๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™ช๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™จ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐˜พ๐™ง๐™ฎ’.

My story of carrying grief and healing while navigating personal and societal expectations around men and grief.

Currently in the cover design phase, stay tuned and sign up for my mailing list for more updates!

#LiveYourDreams

How can you support the book when it launches?

  1. Buy theย book (hardcopy and e-book), read the book and share on social media, post a review on Amazon, Goodreads etc.
  2. Buy the book (hardcopy and e-book), read the book and share on social media.
  3. Buy the book (hardcopy and e-book).

Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement! ~Mark (Exodus 15:3)

Grief, Stories, Writing

Podcast Interview is Still Available! – “Living through the loss of a spouse.”

Exciting news! A couple months ago I was interviewed by Ronit Plank about my book “Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry” and grief as a young man! I share my walk through cancer with my first wife, her death, the aftermath of grief and my healing.

The interview aired recently on January 12 and is still available. Click the link below to listen to my story and know that you are not alone in whatever kind of grief you may be experiencing.

God Bless and Live Your Dreams!

Let me know what you think and would you be interested in reading the book when it comes out later this year?