Grief, Life

Are You Struggling?

People with broken ๐Ÿ’” hearts often don’t know who they are anymore. #Quote #Grief

You’ve most likely heard it said to be kind as everyone is fighting a battle nobody else knows about. Thus, many feel alone and lost.

โžก๏ธ This truth has come up many times in my conversations with others.

If you are struggling I will come alongside you. ~Job 2:13

I have stood by the bedside holding the hand of my late wife as she died. I had to turn and leave her. Leaving everything I had ever known and thus began my own walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I have been there and now I want to help others.

Reaching out takes strength and courage. Send me a message via my contact page to schedule a free 15 minute intro call to see if we are a good fit and if I can help.

๐Ÿ‘Š God bless! Joshua 1:9

God, Grief, Life, memoir

Are You Holding a Grudge Against God?

POV: Grief is hard and can often incline us to hold a grudge against God when someone dies regardless of the circumstances.

The image is from the movie Open Range with Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall. You can see the entire clip on my Instagram page – @mwschutter.

I know because for many years I held a grudge against God after my late wife died of cancer at 27 years old. ๐Ÿ’”

No reason other than a disease that wrecked her before taking her life and God did nothing to stop it.

I struggled with anger and bitterness for many years, stuffing it down. You don’t have to and unhealed pain and trauma will always come back.

โžก๏ธ There is a better way and now I help those who are struggling with grief through coaching and support. Helping you find your best life after trauma. Yes, you.

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. The story of my own journey through the valley of the shadow of death.

Are tired of trying to ride off from death, loss, and grief? If so send me a message – via my contact page and I will send you information on how to schedule a free 15 minute intro call to see if we are a good fit and I can help.

There are many burdens you were not meant to carry. I am happy to come alongside you. ๐Ÿ‘Š See ~Job 2:13 ๐Ÿ“œ

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

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

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!

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, 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. I am still quite honestly surprised that I shared the dream unedited. ๐Ÿ˜‰

“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! ๐Ÿ˜‰).

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, “๐™„ ๐™–๐™ข ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™™๐™ฎ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ.”

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, Writing

What Would You Say?

“A YOUNG AND OLD VERSION”

If you had a chance to go back in time and talk to your younger self what would you say?

What sage advice have you gained over the years that you could share?

Would you attempt to smooth the way and make life easier for yourself?

Would you give encouragement despite the hard times that are to come?

What would you tell your younger self is most important in life?

If you could go back in time and talk with your younger self would you? And what would you say? #WickedQuestions

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all theseย thingsย God will bring thee into judgment. ~Ecclesiastes 11:9

Again, I ask you what would you say?