Grief, memoir, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 4 – Still Miles to Walk

In Chapter 3 – Walking Away in my memoir Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry, I talked about the moments when we have to walk away from all we’ve ever known. And that brings us to the next chapter, wholly unprepared I found myself on this journey walking a road less traveled and it had only just begun.

Chapter 4, Still Miles to Walk

And the Best Thing You Can Do with Death Is to Ride off from It?

This chapter focuses on the many things that take place immediately following a death. All the logistical and practical things that you, as the surviving spouse are expected to take care of starting with funeral arrangements. So many decisions must be made all the while dealing with the shock and grief of your loss.

At the beginning of the chapter I list the following quote from Stephen Jenkinson in his book Die Wise, A Manifesto of Serenity and Soul,

Dying is not what happens to you. Dying is what you do.

I agree with this and would also rephrase it from a different perspective,

Moving forward after someone you love dies is not what happens to you. Moving forward is what you do.

You immediately realize there are still miles to walk and you have no map of the path nor the ultimate destination. Maybe because there is no end to this walk?

Ever since Luka had been diagnosed the first time, through all the treatments, her dying, and right up to this point as the funeral ended, I had been making this up as I went along. And I still didn’t know what to do.


I learned the hard way that there were still so many unknowns on this path as I walked through my own valley of the shadows. My legs moved on their own much of the time, my mind numb but reeling from the enormity of the moments before me. Knowing that nothing would ever be the same again and I could never turn around and walk the path back to where it began.

Chapter 4, Still Miles to Walk – Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

What are you thoughts? What is your experience following the death of a loved one? Have you read my memoir? Did it spark anything in you?

Read my thoughts on the first three chapters of my memoir, links below, and watch for the next one in the series – Chapter 5, Death is Only the Beginning

PS – Have a nice day and saddle up! 🤠

Art, Life, Photograph, Poetry

Walking the Path

The PathI 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?

~Mark W. Schutter ©2014