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, Stories

Can You Do Me A Favor?

I need help in answering a few questions for market research related to grief and healing.

What grief are you still carrying?

Iโ€™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 in it’s many forms 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 โ€“ Iโ€™m asking for your help in doing some market research.

Men needed, is this you? 

My goal is to interview 50 people, โ€“ 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.

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.

Would you mind doing an interview with me? To make it super easy, just send me an email to mark@markschutter.com, let me know you are in and weโ€™ll schedule a call.

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

My ideal client

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 havenโ€™t been able to get there on their own yet.

And I have an ask of the women too!

Iโ€™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, CCโ€™ing whoever you have in mind and Iโ€™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!

And you can purchase Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry at any of the following >

And a review on Amazon or Goodreads would be very much appreciated.  Thanks again! 

Grief, Life, memoir

A Small Favor? I need your help, please!

What grief are you still carrying?

Iโ€™m super excited to announce that Iโ€™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 – Iโ€™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 havenโ€™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.

Iโ€™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, CCโ€™ing whoever you have in mind and Iโ€™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! ๐Ÿ‘Š

Grief, Life, memoir, Poetry

Do you believe the BULL$^!+ LIES?

A Throwback Thursday post from 2017.

Re-sharing a poem I wrote back in 2017 that provided some momentum and clarity as I was beginning to seriously contemplate and pursue writing my 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.

I struggled for over twenty years hiding my pain, my sorrow, and my grief over her death. I moved forward as we are told to do thinking it could never be what it once was.

I was wrong!

Through the unconditional love of God, a good woman (my wife), my daughter and others I came to believe that my life after was really up to me. I have learned that happiness is a choice and my grief I carry but it does not hold me back. Learning that real men have emotions, tears, and yes, they sometimes cry. That doesn’t make us weak.

It’s a bull$^!+ lie that men don’t cry. Sometimes there are no tears falling from our eyes yet, our hearts are weeping and no one sees.

If you’d like to read more of my story of loss, grief, and healing you can order your print or e-book copies at the following:

Here’s to healing and a life after trauma. I will be releasing online courses soon as well as opportunities to work with me as coach in both group and one-on-one settings. Sign up for my email list to get the latest updates and God bless! ๐Ÿ‘Š

Are you believing the lies?

It’s a bull$^!+ lie that men don’t cry. Sometimes there are no tears falling from our eyes yet, our hearts are weeping and no one sees. #Grief #Healing #LifeAfter

Life, Writing

What Do You Do with That?

Replace the word ‘anger’ with any of the following:

  • Shame
  • Regret
  • Guilt
  • Sadness
  • Grief
  • etc.

Isn’t the question still the same, what do you do with that? These are all negative emotions or experiences, what about the so-called positive experiences or emotions?

  • Joyful
  • Excitement
  • Contentment
  • Humbled
  • Love
  • etc.

Again, when the moment of realization comes what do you do with that? Do you use these emotions or experiences for others good?

There is that pivotal moment when you realize the amount of anger you are carrying. And then the question becomes what do you do with that? #WickedQuestions

Can you answer the question for yourself?

Grief, Life, memoir

When You Ask A Man How He Is.

“I’m alright.”

A man says “I’m alright” when asked how he is because nobody cares?

I tend to disagree with the last line in the audio of the video that a man simply responds “I’m alright” because no one f&%king cares. I think others, men and women, do care.

The problem is we don’t always know how to care or show that we care. We don’t know what to do or say, especially men. We get uncomfortable with the feelings and vulnerability that this question invokes. Life is a struggle at times and no one is immune. Why can’t we acknowledge the struggle and the pain that we may be feeling?

Are you uncomfortable sharing your true feelings and if so why?

I think we have been programmed, again especially as men, to ignore our feelings of sadness, pain, regret and grief. And women are programmed to expect men to respond this way. Remember boys, and men, are supposed to be tough and strong. But why do we stereotype a man who is hurting and feeling as not being strong and tough?

What strength does it take to confront our pain and heal from it?

I talk a lot about expectations, real and perceived, that I accepted from society, family, friends when I was grieving. The impacts it has had on me and the struggles in my book – 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.

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes.

When you ask a man how he is and he says “I’m alright.” #CowboysAreNotSupposedtoCry #MentalHealth #Men #Healing #LifeAfter #Trauma #Pain #Loss #Grief

What emotions and feelings are you hiding from others?

Life, memoir, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 1 – Out of the Sun

Please note: This is the beginning of a series of posts where I will work my way through each chapter of my memoir, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry, reflecting on what I wrote and other thoughts now that the book is published.

As I reread chapter 1 of my memoir the first thing that hits me is how naรฏve I was, but I guess we all were at one time or another. My youthfulness shows through my words and actions during that time of my life. The first meeting with Luka and our growing relationship. It took me almost thirty years to realize the doors she opened and lead me through into worlds I had never explored. There were many simple things you don’t realize how much they meant until much, much later.

“We lived in those moments that held special meaning to us but seemed so ordinary in their significance.”

Chapter 1, Out of the Sun, page 24 – Mark W. Schutter

It’s those moments that seem insignificant that have the propensity to change our lives in hindsight. Those chance encounters with a stranger that lead to a deep and lasting relationship. Some that accompany us throughout the rest of our lives and others only stay for a while. Yet, the memories and the truths of each conversation stay with us and become touchstones that are the bedrock on which we stand.

I recall the music of the time when we first met and the music she introduced me to. Music I had never considered nor paid attention to before. It was a kaleidoscope of sounds and emotions that permeated and became the backdrop of our lives for those few short years. The music was so often prophetic as the lyrics seemed to hint at things to come. Some happy and some sad but either way they were harbingers of what may be.

“There was so much to live for, so much to look forward to, while a haunting voice whispered there will come a time when I will never see her again.”

Chapter 1, Out of the Sun, page 25 – Mark W. Schutter

There were decisions made that were set on my securing my future as I slowly slipped into adulthood. Yet those decisions of college and pursing a vocational calling pale in comparison to the seemingly random everyday occurrences that I now believe were anything but random. Those moments and incidents that became part of the tapestry when our lives came together in a grand design until the edges began to fray, the material becoming thinner and eventually the fabric was torn in two.

The first glance when our eyes met, casual conversations, dinners under the fading evening light, hawks soaring high overhead, and sharing hopes and dreams of a future. I titled the first chapter of my memoir “Out of the Sun” as an ode to the following lyrics in the Al Stewart song ‘Year of the Cat.’

She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolor in the rain
Don’t bother asking for explanations

She came into my life in late summer wearing sun dresses and sandals. And like a watercolor painting opened my eyes to a multitude of hues and colors in life that often dance just outside our vision. Watercolor paint has a special ability to morph from one to another overlapping in soft and hard edges. Then the colors run as the water carries them intermingling with each other until the distinctness is lost. It continues to fade until the image is completely gone. This is an analogy of our lives together, the brilliant distinctiveness, intermingling, and then the fading until she was gone.

There are many more lines from this song that also resonate with me but that is for another post at another time when I may break down the entire song. For now just remember that no matter what you do, time passes, and you have the choice to live forward despite those trials and pains that inflict us all.

“She believed… there was a far better place, a place that existed out past the sun, where it rained colors and memoires never faded, where the last became first and the pain became joy and you traveled via the slipstream, a place where we can let go of the pain, the loss, and the death of this world.”

Chapter 1, Out of the Sun, page 27 – Mark W. Schutter

So don’t bother asking for explanations cause she just might tell you that she came in the year of the cat. ๐Ÿ˜‰ God bless! This is your ‘life after…’ don’t miss it!

———————————————————————————————-

My memoir is available in print and e-book. Order your copy today, and one or two or threeโ€ฆ as a gift for some else in time for the holidays. PAY IT FORWARD!  

You can also reach out to me here on my website to purchase signed copies.

Grief, Life, memoir, Stories, Writing

Pay it Forward – Will You Purpose to Commit Intentional Acts of Kindness?

Signed copies of my memoir being packaged for delivery!

There is still time to order your own copy and one or two or three… as a gift for some else in time for the holidays. PAY IT FORWARD! ๐Ÿ‘Š Available in print and e-book.

You can also reach out to me here on my website to purchase signed copies. Here’s some comments I have received from readers –

  • Your story touched my heart in more ways than I can even explain. Even though it triggered a lot of sadness and emotions it also gave me hope.
  • Just finished the first chapter of your book and I must tell you how beautiful your words are. You have such an amazing gift. Thank you for sharingโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ
  • I will have to say I have never read a book like yours before. I read a lot! I do want to tell you that this book is absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

There is always hope of ‘life after…” and hope is never a small thing. #CowboysAreNotsupposedtoCry #Memoir #Grief #Healing #Trauma #LifeAfter https://www.amzn.com/1639031022 

Grief, Life, Writing

Pain – It’s Not a Competition

It is not a competition, although some will try to make it into one.

“Yeah, but let me tell you what happened to me…”

We all have stories to tell and they should be told. There is often healing in our sharing and it may give others hope. There is resilience and a vulnerable courage in sharing our pain and also our triumphs.

There can be “life after” if we choose it and others stories may help us get there. But sometimes, preaching to myself here, we need to shut up and just listen. Or sit in silence with someone in their pain.

There is more than enough these days to go around.

(Read Job 2:13)