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!

Grief, memoir, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 7 – I Am the One Dying

To begin this chapter I share a dream I had some years previous that had I never shared with anyone before it found its way into my memoir, 𝐂𝐨𝐰𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐬 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐫𝐲. I am still quite honestly surprised that I shared the dream unedited. 😉

“I do not understand?” he questioned her, fighting to quell his surprise and rage that was growing.

“No, you do not,” she stated simply, still not looking at him as they continued to walk.

The words hung in the air as she paused before taking a breath. He watched her as she continued to look straight ahead, staring off into the distance as she calmly added in a tone of finality,

“I am the one dying.”

CHAPTER 7, I AM THE ONE DYING, PAGE 71 – MARK W. SCHUTTER

Thus ended the dream from which I awoke my heart pounding. There is much more detail to the dream that is revealed in my memoir. If you haven’t purchased my book, go buy a print or e-book copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iTunes (shameless self-promotion! 😉).

Have you ever had a dream from which you wonder at it’s meaning, even as you know there is truth spoken in the dream? Luka’s comment in the dream that she was the one dying definitely spoke a truth that I was unwilling to acknowledge while she was alive. I often found myself denying the truth and unwilling to face the reality of her illness.

Yet, I hope I am wiser now and realizing that we are all traveling different roads. Our roads will parallel and cross over others at times but ultimately we each must journey alone into the alone.

The words hung in the air as she paused before taking a breath. He watched her as she continued to look straight ahead, staring off into the distance as she calmly added in a tone of finality, “𝙄 𝙖𝙢 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙙𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜.”

CHAPTER 7, I AM THE ONE DYING, PAGE 71 – MARK W. SCHUTTER, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

Why is it such surprising news when we know that each one of us will face dying, both our own and that of ones we love.

God, Life

A Wicked Question

We claim to love, we claim to care, and we claim to… well, whatever it is.

And if we are honest with ourselves how often do we fail?

I know in my case I find myself loving others how I think they should and need to be loved assuming it is all good and right. Do I ever ask them?

And what about God? I often run around trying to please him when maybe all he wants is for me to spend time with him?

Now go and learn what this means:

‘I desire compassion, rather than sacrifice,’

for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 9:13 NASB2020

#LoveLanguage #LiveYourDreams

Life, Stories

The DAY AFTER, and What Do You Do With That?

Every major life event, every holiday, every milestone, every anniversary, every accomplishment or disappointment is followed by the day after, and what do you do with that?

“So, this was it I thought, no trumpets, no angels singing hallelujah, no bright light, no  nothing,… she was just gone.

One line, no explanation, no context from my upcoming memoir ‘Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry’

As this post goes live today, December 26, is the day after Christmas 2020 🎄and a week from now will the day after New Years Day 2021 🎉. Is it just me or do you experience pangs of melancholy during this supposed festive time of good will and frivolity?

So what can we do?

  • Pause – rest in the moments and let the world move on.
  • Anchor – revisit the memories and breathe in the feelings that come.
  • Believe – in hope for tomorrow until our journey through this life is done.

There are reasons to live
There are reasons to die
But the end’s not the end
While you’re still alive

~The lyrics above are from the song ‘There Was a Life’ from the album Night Castle by Trans Siberian Orchestra. Tomorrow is coming, so with faith and hope go…

Grief, Life, Stories, Writing

Memoir Update – Signed Publishing Agreement!

It’s official!

*Note: Working title and not actual cover.

Exciting news!!! I have signed a publishing and distribution agreement with Christian Faith Publishing for my memoir. I submitted my manuscript to their review board, they accepted the draft and want to publish my book. Woo-hoo! 😁

Signing the agreement with my daughter!
  • It has been a long journey for sure to get to this point, never stop chasing your dreams!
  • Expected publication date is still to be determined, sometime in early 2021.
  • Lots to be done before then – editing, proofing, typesetting, cover design etc.

I have been busy drafting my author bio and the book blurb. That is harder than writing the actual book. Who knew? 😳

Book teaser >

When did we come to believe the best thing you can do with death is ride off from it? In Cowboys Are Not Supposed To Cry, Mark Wayne tells his story of living a life with grief beginning in his mid-twenties. #Memoir #AmWriting #UpcomingBook #WritersLife

I hope to post some excerpts from the forthcoming book as I go through the editing process as well as other updates here on the blog. So be sure to hit the follow button and sign up for email notifications to get the latest.

*Note: Working title and not actual cover.

I would love to hear your initial impressions or thoughts. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and will help guide efforts as I move forward in publishing and marketing.

#LiveYourDreams

Life, Photograph, Poetry

3 Steps to Get From Here to There

I hold a vision from here to there
Where I can see things of memory
The path lays before me shining crystal clear
As shadows dance silently on the fringe
Overcome by desires that scamper quickly away
While standing still falls a single rolling tear
One small drop that holds all my fears
A haunting serenade redemptive love infringes
Beckons a safe passage to another world
Where angels play beyond the undiscovered
Grace reaches softly no heart left untouched
The broken places cracks desperately patched
This is where the light shines into the pain
A question wells up within as deep calls to deep
How do I ever get from here to there?

3 Tips

  1. Keep your vision in front of you
  2. Seek healing and restoration for others and yourself
  3. Believe that you have something to do or say that someone needs

#LiveYourDreams #JustBelieve #HopeLives #GraceChangesPeople

What dream or vision are you seeking? What first step can you take? #LiveYourDreams #SaturdayMotivation #YouGotThis

This post is a further exploration of an earlier post for “Monday Motivation offering I hope some practical tips to help us all get “From Here to There.”

I have used these tips as touchstones on my own journey to get from here to there. Stay tuned for some exciting news coming next Saturday! Be sure to check out that blog post!

3 Tips > 1- Keep your vision in front of you. 2- Seek healing and restoration for others and yourself. 3- Believe that you have something to do or say that someone needs. #LiveYourDreams #SaturdayMotivation #YouGotThis #FromHereToThere

Adventure, Life, Photograph, Writing

From Here to There – Motivation Monday

“From here to there”

They say each journey begins with that first step, followed by another until we are on our way. To paraphrase Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien) it is a dangerous business going out your front door for there is no telling where you might be swept off to.

Doesn’t the true adventure lie in the unknown? In not knowing what might lie just up ahead, as our nervousness rises our yearning for adventure drives us forward!

Doesn’t the true adventure lie in not knowing what comes next?

My friends, what is stopping you from taking that first step on your own great adventure? #LiveYourDreams #MotivationMonday #MondayBlogs

#LiveYourDreams

Life, Photograph, Poetry

Live Your Dreams – Motivation Monday

“Live Your Dreams”

The struggle is reckoning who we are, who we wish to be, and who we were created to be. #JustBelieve #YouMatter #LiveYourDreams #MotivationMonday #MondayBlogs

#JustBelieve #YouMatter #LiveYourDreams

The struggle is real, as we all are acutely aware. However, so are the rewards if we have the purpose and passion to pursue our dreams with discipline and courage. Go forth my friends and live your dreams, starting today.