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…

𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧…

𝑄𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑠 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑔𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑑𝑜 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑡? 🤔

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

𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧…

𝐻𝑜𝑤 𝑑𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢 ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑙𝑒 𝑖𝑡 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑛? 🤔

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!

*𝘽𝙤𝙣𝙪𝙨 𝙋𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣: 🤔

𝑁𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑜𝑣𝑖𝑒, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑖𝑡 𝑐𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑢𝑡, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑣𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑜.

Share your answers in the comments. 👊

Life, memoir, Stories

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

What hides behind the smiles and the vacant eyes? Aren’t we tired of wearing masks? — 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. 😉)

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!

Grief, Life, memoir

A Small Favor? I need your help, please!

What grief are you still carrying?

I’m super excited to announce that I’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 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 – I’m asking for your help in doing some market research.


It is time to engage in more conversations around ‘life after…’ and what that might look like to help others move forward who have experienced trauma, loss, and grief. 

Isn’t that all of us? 

My goal is to interview 50 people, – 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.

My ideal interviewee 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 haven’t been able to get there on their own yet.

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.

Men needed, is this you? 

If this is you, would you mind doing an interview with me? To make it super easy, just hit send me an email to mark@markschutter.com, let me know you are in and we’ll schedule a call.

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

And a few women!

I am also hoping to interview a few women who have experienced loss, grief, and trauma regarding their own journey. This would enable me to, showcase the difference in support systems that may be available and to highlight similarities and differences regarding the different expectations and coping between men and women who are grieving. 

Would you be interested?

If this isn’t you, maybe you can still help.

I’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, CC’ing whoever you have in mind and I’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!

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! 👊

God, Grief, memoir

Revisiting Chapter 6 – To Love What’s Leaving

We are all dying day by day, but following the diagnosis, I instinctively knew death would find her, statistically, probably before me, and it happened much sooner than I had ever imagined.

CHAPTER 6, TO LOVE WHAT’S LEAVING, PAGE 61 – MARK W. SCHUTTER

Rereading this chapter now I struggle to come up with any coherent meaning to it. We were both denying the reality of her illness I guess, or at the very least the seriousness. However, we were also continuing to live in the face of it. An odd juxtaposition to me even now. It is hard loving someone who is dying, but as Stephen Jenkinson says in his book Die Wise, loving someone is not inevitable, loving someone who will die is.

We go through our days sometimes blissfully unaware that we are all dying a little our days on this earth numbered. And that is okay, even when the reality that time is limited smacks you in the face. You go on and in the daily rhythms of a ‘normal’ life you find some peace and satisfaction regardless of what others might tell you. You must find your own path, ask Jesus to reveal it to you and ask him to walk with you. He will and that is what matters.

To Love What’s Leaving – What is Your Experience?

I did not understand the grief. My heart was broken and yet, I never wanted it to mend. – Chapter 6, To Love What’s Leaving, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry #Memoir #WritersLife #Grief

Read my thoughts on the first five chapters of my memoir, links below, and watch for the next one in the series – Chapter 7, I Am the One Dying

You can order your print copies and the e-book today, and one or two or three… as a gift for some else who is struggling. PAY IT FORWARD!

  • You can also contact me here on my website using the contact form to purchase signed copies. God bless! 👊
Grief, memoir, Writing

What Grief Are You Still Carrying?

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. ~Matthew 5:4

Hello friends!

Been absent for awhile just allowing the mud to settle if you will so I can see a little bit more clearly. Spending time with God in prayer and just being silent.

Lots of grief coming up lately that has been heavy on my heart. Both from the past and the current situation.

I am realizing more and more that after almost 29 years I am still carrying my grief. And really that’s ok. My grief and longing over what was lost and might have been can, and does, exist right alongside my joy and peace.

I mourn and I am comforted. I grieve and I am blessed.

What are your thoughts? 🤔

What grief are you still carrying? Tell my I am listening. #WickedQuestions

And if you stayed with me and read this far thank you. If you would leave me a comment or even just a 👊, 👍, ❤ or whatever so I know I am not alone.

Thanks again and I pray each of you is blessed. 🙏

PS – You can still get a copy of my memoir, 𝘾𝙤𝙬𝙗𝙤𝙮𝙨 𝘼𝙧𝙚 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝘾𝙧𝙮, either print or e-book at the following:

Thanks for the support and a review on Amazon or Goodreads is always appreciated! 👊