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.” โค

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, 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

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 โ€œLife Afterโ€, reach out.

Leave a comment or email me at info@markschutter.com. Iโ€™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, โ€œLife Afterโ€ Coach 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.

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

Part 1 โ€“ Reconciling the Past

Part 2 โ€“ Embracing the Present

Part 3 – Redeeming the Future

Now, saddle up! The adventure that is your โ€œLife Afterโ€ 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 โ€œLife Afterโ€, reach out.

Leave a comment or email me at info@markschutter.com. Iโ€™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, โ€œLife Afterโ€ Coach 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.

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

Part 1 โ€“ Reconciling the Past

Part 2 โ€“ Embracing the Present

Part 3 – Redeeming the Future

Now, saddle up! The adventure that is your โ€œLife Afterโ€ awaits!

Grief, Life, memoir

The Dark Side of Grief

๐Ÿ‘Š ๐—ฃ๐—ข๐—ฉ: ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ณ

IG Reel – The Dark Side of Grief

Watch my entire IG reel here > https://www.instagram.com/reel/CgM9CwSpxSd/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Opening up the conversation to talk about the dark and uncomfortable things surrounding grief, loss, pain, death, life after and healing.

Why?

  • ๐Ÿค” Because a man’s grief is different.

Pull up a chair to the fire, I offer:

  • ๐Ÿ‘Š Grief coaching for men.
  • ๐Ÿ˜’Helping men find their best ๐™‡๐™ž๐™›๐™š ๐˜ผ๐™›๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ง ๐™๐™ง๐™–๐™ช๐™ข๐™–

Who am I and why?

  • ๐Ÿ“” Author of the memoir – 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

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

๐—”๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ๐—ณ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ถ๐˜?

First step: โžก๏ธ DM to book a call to chat

Shoot me a DM if you are struggling with overcoming grief and pain, have questions or just need someone to come alongside you and sit with you in silence (Job 2:13).

We’ll schedule a free call to see if we are a good fit and I can help.

God bless and saddle up the adventure of your life after trauma awaits. ๐Ÿ‘Š

Grief, Life, memoir

A Man’s Grief is Different

Agree or disagree? ๐Ÿค”

“A man’s grief is different.”

> Not right or wrong just different.
> Not good or bad just different.
> IT JUST IS.

Do what it is that works for you and reach out for support if needed.

If you are struggling with overcoming grief and pain from a loss it takes courage to reach out for support.

Men often, myself included, like to go it alone. We pride ourselves on our individualism and resilience.

Yet, sometimes we need, and want, someone to come alongside of us.

If you are struggling with overcoming grief and pain from a loss let me know.

I am the author of the memoir 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 and a grief coach for men. ๐Ÿ‘Š

Shoot me a message via my contact page and we can schedule a free discovery call to chat and see if we are a good fit and I can help.

God bless and saddle up, the adventure of your life after trauma awaits. ๐Ÿ‘Š #LifeAfter #Trauma #Healing

I have walked through my own valley of the shadow of death and would be honored to do so with you. You don’t have to do it alone. (Job 2:13)

Grief, memoir

If You Know…

If you know,

then you know,

that you know.

It was the 29th time that the day of her birth had come around following her death. Nothing much seems to have changed over the past few years. At least on the inside.

I kept busy that day, working moving dirt and readying the planter boxes in the greenhouse for planting. It was a beautiful sunny spring day.

And then out of the blue it hit me.

The memories I hold so dear were of a young girl in her mid-twenties. In the fullness of life, with dreams of the future, until the last few months when the sickness began to overtake her. But this day it is the year 2022.

She would have turned 57 years old.

Just typing the words seems surreal. I will turn 58 later this year so it tracks mathematically. But the heart knows nothing of numbers, only images stored in the mind and carried forever.

And I have no idea what she would look like were she alive today.

I have aged, gray hairs shining through my blonde curls. My whiskers when I let them grow are tinged with silver and the lines at the corners of my eyes and on my forehead are tell tale signs of the years that have passed.

But in my mind she is still that young girl.

In the prime of her young life, long brown hair, and sparkling blue eyes. The ravages of time had not yet made their mark as they do to us all that are blessed to live for many years. My mind is swirling.

I cannot picture her as 57 year old woman.

So, I wonder at this. Another wave of grief and loss assaults’ me. I feel as I if I have lost her again. For a second time, no a third time… hell I have lost count of how many times over the ensuing years.

I live on with memories from long ago.

I am happy. I have moved forward with a wonderful wife and daughter. And yet, I have watched my daughter grow into a teenager, and my wife has aged as have I. And my memories of her are frozen in time.

She has never aged.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? She never got the pleasure of enjoying more of life. Of family and friends. Even the aches and pains of a body that is worn and tired from a life lived fully.

But maybe, just maybe she did.

I smile, my heart is happy because in her almost 28 years of life, she lived every moment fully. She was alive, even at the end when the cancer racked her body, when everything hurt and I stood holding her hand to the end of our journey together.

I carry the grief and loss, right alongside my joy and happiness.

PS – You can read more of my story of grief, loss, healing and life after in my memoir Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry, available on many online platforms. I use my experience to coach others struggling with grief and moving forward from loss, let me know and we’ll schedule a 15 minute intro call to see if I can help. God bless, ~M

Grief, Life, memoir, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 10 – A Different Trajectory

In the last few paragraphs of this chapter I paraphrase the C.S. Lewis quote about nonsense questions that God finds unanswerable which we ask in the midst of our pain. How I believe God may simply wave them away in compassionate silence.

So many questions still linger to this day and I am better at living with no answers… most of the time.

Things happen, and we must just continue to paddle through the rapids of our lives. #ThingsHappen #Quote #Memoir #Grief #Healing #CowboysAreNotSupposedtoCry

I recall an incident at the cancer institute where I was overcome with emotion at the perceived lack of compassion and concern for my wife and I uttered, quick loudly, some obscenities in a waiting room full of people. I still carry a lot of the pain, the hurt, and the confusion from those events that occurred many years ago and yet I know that now I am not the same as I was then.

My fears that began when she was diagnosed and grew through her illness and eventually her death are still with me to an extent. Some I have reconciled and even embraced. Some I have buried and I know I need more healing. I leave that to God and his timing… but I must be an active participant when it is time.

Only recently as I embark on a new business of coaching and mentoring others through grief have I begun to truly ask the question of what it is that grief asks of us.

What has your grief asked of you?

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

PS – have a nice day and remember faith is a belief in the unseen.

Grief, Life, memoir, Writing

Big Boys Don’t Cry, Remember?

The myth continues… that boys don’t cry.

Ummm… I call BULL$#!+

Scene from the 1989 movie ‘The Abyss’

This scene caught my attention the other night while watching The Abyss with my family.

Why do we continue to perpetuate this belief? We see it in so many things in our society and especially in entertainment.

While the statement may be well intended… what harm does it cause?

I have spent a lifetime trying to live up to this lie. You can read my story in my memoir “Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry” available on Amazon and other online retailers.

And yes the title is a play on words and the lie.

What are your thoughts about this?

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, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 8 – The Lingering Ambiguity

Disclaimer: This post was written the day after the Good Friday and Easter weekend that I as a Christian celebrate. This year was also the 29th anniversary of her death on Good Friday in the year 1993. I was 28 years old when she died, thus I have been alive longer without her than I was alive when she died. ~Mark W. Schutter

One if the many reviews and feedback I have received for my memoir. I am blessed and also left with this lingering ambiguity regarding my story and it’s impact on others.

Even after writing my memoir, having it edited and published I am still left with many unanswered questions. Many that I believe will never be answered this side of heaven. When someone is dying and the dreaded end is evitable what then?

All the promises and the vows that no longer matter, ’till death do us part.’ The heartfelt pleas and prayers that went unanswered while time simply marches on. The ambiguity that can surround grief often leads to feelings that emerge that are not common. The expression or stifling of those feelings can lead to disappointments, disagreements, conflict, and confusion for all involved.

Death can bring out the best in people and the worst. And in those moments grace for ourselves and others is sometimes hard to find.

I realize now of many things I did without much thought for the impacts on myself and others. I trudged through the days expecting more of myself, more of those around me, more from the world and from God. I have since realized that for many years I never gave myself permission to feel, to grieve my loss. (And that is a story for another chapter later in the book. ๐Ÿ˜‰)

I was just beginning to learn how to embrace my life as it was now, not as I wished it to be, for that was the only way to see a future. #Grief #Healing #LifeAfter #Trauma

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 the first seven chapters of my memoir, links below, and watch for Part 2: Embracing the Present and chapters 9-14.

And yet, I still believe that there is always hope and hope is never a small thing!