God, Grief, memoir, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 18 – Death Feeds Life, Children

She never got the opportunity to have her own children. Life or fate, whatever you call it, prevented that from ever happening. Her battles with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the ensuing treatments as a younger child most likely rendered her sterile.

In that moment, my mind followed my heart, and my decision was made. I wanted her to be my wife someday, knowing that children for us would probably never come.

Chapter 18, page 157, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

As long as I knew here though she poured her heart and soul into other peoples children. Working at a daycare and a children’s museum she showed those children love and acceptance and pointed them to a faith in Yeshua.

God often redeems and restores what was lost. I remarried and ten years later my wonderful wife and I had our first and only child, a daughter who is becoming a very strong young lady. The guilt ran through me then, it does not now.

I believe now this is how it was supposed to be. I am her and her mother’s provider, protector and knight.

At the age of forty, I became a father to a beautiful little girl. She grew, and the circle keeps coming full circle and maybe, just maybe, God has an impeccable send of comedic timing.

Chapter 18, page 160, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

She has her momma’s heart, is gracious and kind and loves horses like her daddy. She is a cowgirl through and through. God has blessed me beyond measure and more than I deserve. But then again, what we actually deserve often has nothing to do with it.

I am Mark W. Schutter, โ€œLife Afterโ€ Coach and Author of the 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, and we all need a little support sometimes.

If you are struggling with moving forward following the death of a loved one and searching for your best โ€œLife After,โ€ please leave a comment or email me at info@markschutter.com.

Iโ€™ll follow up with some additional information and how to book a free call to chat and see if I can help.

P.S. – Those are my daughters favorite boots!

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 โ€“ Reconciling the Past

Part 2 โ€“ Embracing the Present

Part 3 โ€“ Redeeming the Future

Now, saddle up! The adventure that is your โ€œLife Afterโ€ awaits! 

Life, memoir

Men, Mental Health, Grief, and Finding Life After

New interview on the podcast The Death Dialogues Project

Men, Mental Health, Grief, and Finding Life After

Take a listen and be sure to leave a comment there and below letting me know what you think.

Be sure to follow The Death Dialogues Project on:

For a companion piece in which I was mentioned read the following article on Substack by Becky Aud-Jennison founder of The Death Dialogues Project.

The Aftermath – Grief: Processing, Honoring or Denying

“The aftermath of death will have its way with us one way or the other.”

Quote from the article.

PS – My memoir Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry is still available.

Grab your print or e-book copy today!

God, Life, memoir

Revisiting Chapter 15 – The Judgment of a Bad Man

This is the first chapter of the third section, Redeeming the Future, of 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 have given a lot of thought over the years about reminders, and so much is a reminder of a life once lived in another time and place.

I have ordained myself as judge, jury, and executioner of my fate, rarely asking where is God in all of this?

“Every once in while I almost get through a day without thinking about who I am and what I’d done.” ~Charley Waite (Kevin Costner), Open Range #Quote #Westerns #Cowboys

The above quote haunts me and I share it later in Chapter 22 of my book, and we’ll get there soon, but it seems to fit in this chapter also. We do things in this life, and things happen whether intended or not, and there are consequences. Some of these things stay with us as we seek redemption. We hide from the truth and we lie to ourselves and others. Our thoughts spiral and we chastise ourselves for those thoughts we deem wicked, and sometimes simply unkind.

I know for many years I lived, and often still do, in fear of becoming the man I dread that I might be, based on the enemies lies whispered in my ears. These stories, we have each created and written, in which we find ourselves living in each and every day.

Is the story I (we) tell true?

That is what we must each come to terms with. And when we do, we must either renounce the vows and the lies or forgive ourselves, and others, for the wrongs committed.

“We can rise from the ashes and the darkness deep, for there is forgiveness, even for those who find they are still believing the lies, regardless of the thoughts in my head that tell me I am a bad man, a complete screwup at times, or just a beautiful mess wrecked right on schedule, as he should be by what life has thrown at him.”

~Chapter 15, Page 139

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! 

> If you are struggling with moving forward following the death of a loved on and searching for your bestย โ€œLife Afterโ€, reach out.

Leave a comment or email me atย info@markschutter.com. Iโ€™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,ย “Life After” Coachย andย Author of the 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, and we all need a little support sometimes.

Read my thoughts on previous chapters of my memoir, links below.

Part 1 โ€“ Reconciling the Past

Part 2 โ€“ Embracing the Present

Now, saddle up! The adventure that is your “Life After” awaits! ๐Ÿ‘Š

Grief, Life, memoir

The Dark Side of Grief

๐Ÿ‘Š ๐—ฃ๐—ข๐—ฉ: ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ณ

IG Reel – The Dark Side of Grief

Watch my entire IG reel here > https://www.instagram.com/reel/CgM9CwSpxSd/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Opening up the conversation to talk about the dark and uncomfortable things surrounding grief, loss, pain, death, life after and healing.

Why?

  • ๐Ÿค” Because a man’s grief is different.

Pull up a chair to the fire, I offer:

  • ๐Ÿ‘Š Grief coaching for men.
  • ๐Ÿ˜’Helping men find their best ๐™‡๐™ž๐™›๐™š ๐˜ผ๐™›๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ง ๐™๐™ง๐™–๐™ช๐™ข๐™–

Who am I and why?

  • ๐Ÿ“” 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

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

๐—”๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ๐—ณ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ถ๐˜?

First step: โžก๏ธ DM to book a call to chat

Shoot me a DM if you are struggling with overcoming grief and pain, have questions or just need someone to come alongside you and sit with you in silence (Job 2:13).

We’ll schedule a free call to see if we are a good fit and I can help.

God bless and saddle up the adventure of your life after trauma awaits. ๐Ÿ‘Š

memoir, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 12 – Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Other Triggers

Everything was here, just as it was, and yet she was not and never would be again, and it was up to me to clean up the mess.

~Chapter 12, page 107, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry

There will always be reminders on the calendar… reminders of the day she died, the funeral, her birthday, and even my own birthday. Not to mention the holidays and special dates we circle on the calendar that roll around each year not caring who is there to celebrate or not.

And there is the things that come up without warning. A memory triggered by a song, a photo, even a commercial on the television and so many other things. They never go away despite the days, months, and years that go by.

There are anniversaries we try hard to remember

And there are anniversaries we can never forget

~Mark Wayne

And yet, all of this… the triggers and reminders that cause us to pause and reflect, or break down and cry are the way it is supposed to be. I wrote at the end of this chapter that life goes on, and life wrecks us on schedule.

I believe that, although not in an intentional way, there is no normal life there is just life. (A little ode to Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday in Tombstone ๐Ÿค  who then says to Wyatt Earp, Kirk Russell “Now go life it.”)

Life comes with it’s joys and sorrows, love and loss, pain and healing. Moments touch us or trigger us, in that I believe we get to chose. For no matter what happens, our real power lies only in how we respond to what life throws at us.

There is a life after trauma, and healing is possible.

Get your copy of my story of love, loss, grief and healing, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry  >

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 โ€“ Reconciling the Past

Part 2 โ€“ Embracing the Present

> If you are struggling with moving forward following a loss and searching for your best โ€œlife afterโ€, let me know. Leave a comment or email me at info@markschutter.com,

Iโ€™ll follow up with some additional information and how to book a free minute call to chat and see if I can help. Thanks!

I am Mark W. Schutter, Grief Coach for Men and Author of the 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, and we all need a little support sometimes.

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

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

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.

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? ๐Ÿค”

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 ๐Ÿ‘Š, ๐Ÿ‘, โค or whatever so I know I am not alone.

Thanks again and I pray each of you is blessed. ๐Ÿ™

PS – You can still get a copy of 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, either print or e-book at the following:

Thanks for the support and a review on Amazon or Goodreads is always appreciated! ๐Ÿ‘Š