memoir, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 12 – Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Other Triggers

Everything was here, just as it was, and yet she was not and never would be again, and it was up to me to clean up the mess.

~Chapter 12, page 107, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

There will always be reminders on the calendar… reminders of the day she died, the funeral, her birthday, and even my own birthday. Not to mention the holidays and special dates we circle on the calendar that roll around each year not caring who is there to celebrate or not.

And there is the things that come up without warning. A memory triggered by a song, a photo, even a commercial on the television and so many other things. They never go away despite the days, months, and years that go by.

There are anniversaries we try hard to remember

And there are anniversaries we can never forget

~Mark Wayne

And yet, all of this… the triggers and reminders that cause us to pause and reflect, or break down and cry are the way it is supposed to be. I wrote at the end of this chapter that life goes on, and life wrecks us on schedule.

I believe that, although not in an intentional way, there is no normal life there is just life. (A little ode to Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday in Tombstone ๐Ÿค  who then says to Wyatt Earp, Kirk Russell “Now go life it.”)

Life comes with it’s joys and sorrows, love and loss, pain and healing. Moments touch us or trigger us, in that I believe we get to chose. For no matter what happens, our real power lies only in how we respond to what life throws at us.

There is a life after trauma, and healing is possible.

Get your copy of my story of love, loss, grief and healing, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry  >

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 โ€“ Reconciling the Past

Part 2 โ€“ Embracing the Present

> If you are struggling with moving forward following a loss and searching for your best โ€œlife afterโ€, let me know. Leave a comment or email me at,

Iโ€™ll follow up with some additional information and how to book a free minute call to chat and see if I can help. Thanks!

I am Mark W. Schutter, Grief Coach for Men and Author of the memoir 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, and we all need a little support sometimes.


The Animal is Me

Lost in confused belief of one small spark.
Still quiet of darkening night as color fades.
Haunting romance silently floats on a soft breeze.
Timeless truth pulls something more ancient yet new.
Am I alone?
Voiceless questions my mind screams my heart answers.
Mutely searching for moments lost to the eternities.
Watched endlessly by loving jealous eyes of grace.
A caged animal not realizing the animal is me

Mark Schutter ยฉ2016


How often do we deceive ourselves by believing the lie that we are alone? Tortured and trapped we live in a web of lies and deceit carefully spun by the enemy of our souls. And, yet, there is another who watches over us with loving jealous eyes of grace. One who seeks our eternal freedom and salvation.

He is for us, he will help us and he is not finished with us yet!

#JustBelieve #GraceWins #HopeLives #LoveChangesPeople #YouMatter