60 Days Ago I Lost My Son Zayne…

A Grief Expressed

60 Days Ago I Lost My Son Zayne…

Today is April 8th. 60 days ago I lost my son Zayne.

While I am crying as I write this article, know that today is much easier than March 8th was. That was a very tough day. Today is also a tough day, but not as tough as 30 days ago. Part of the reason for this is that I have been grieving.

Grieving sucks and it is can be very painful, and it will wear you out, but grieving is how you heal from a loss.

Time Does NOT Heal All Wounds

Some people don’t grieve and they think the passing of time will help them heal. Grieving does not work that way.If you don’t grieve, you don’t heal.

Snot Bubbles

If you have experienced a loss I encourage you to grieve, to cry, to wail, to make awful noises while you cry, and sob so hard that snot bubbles come out your nose. That is how you heal. Until you grieve, the ache will remain bottled up inside of you and it will hinder you and impede your journey.

I have cried, and wailed, and made awful nosies while I cried, and I have sobbed so hard that snot bubbles have come out my nose….And I will do all of that again because I am not done grieving.

Please know that I can’t doing those things, It is awful. Grieving sucks.

However…the reason that day is a tough day, but not a brutal day, is because I have been entering that gut wrenching ache you get when you suffer a loss and expressing it.

If you have experienced a loss, my heart aches with yours. Let that ache out so that you heal.

God bless,

Steven Shomler

Zayne Shomler

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The Empty Photo – A Step Toward Acceptance

A Grief Expressed      A Grief Expressed

The Empty Photo – A Step Toward Acceptance

Last year I took my two youngest kids to the Oregon Coast for a day trip. Just the three of us. We went Cape Lookout State Park and it was windy and not so awesome.

We packed up midday and headed off to Oceanside Beach.

We had a magical time! The weather was perfect.

We went through the tunnel to the other beach, saw paragliders coming in, had dinner on the beach and even saw whales.

It was there at the tunnel to the other beach that I took the photo of Zayne that was used on the front of the program for his memorial service.

I went back to that same beach this past weekend. I took the same photo. This time no Zayne…

For me taking this photo was a painful, but healthy first step toward accepting the reality that Zayne is gone and he is not coming back. It’s been so hard to accept this.

Getting used life without Zayne is gut wrenching but necessary. Zayne is gone and he is not coming back.

I am going to have to get used to taking photos without Zayne in them…

Steven Shomler

A Grief Expressed

A Grief Expressed

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Then This Song Came on The Radio

Then This Song Came on The Radio
When you are grieving you will have things that trigger your pain and it will likely not be convenient and that grieving will hurt…

I had a great dinner with a friend tonight who was grieving. On the way home the song See You Again came on the radio and I lost it.

I wrote the words “It’s been a long day without you my friend and I will tell all when I tell you about it my friend” on the program for Zayne’s Memorial Service.

Those words were from the song See You Again by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.

Every time I hear this song I cry.

The version that came on the radio tonight is just Charlie Puth. Still moving and it still makes me cry.

Going to be a grieving night. Lots of crying tonight.

When you are grieving you will have things that trigger your pain and it will likely not be convenient and that grieving will hurt.

Grieving is how you heal. Do it. You are worth it.

Here is a link to the song that triggered my grieving tonight —


Steven Shomler


See You Again Charlie Puth

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Coffee, Tears, and Peeps

Coffee Tears and Peeps

Coffee, Tears, and Peeps

This morning I choose the black mug.

I love cool looking coffee mugs. Happy ones that make me smile and bring me joy.

When Zayne passed away I could not bring myself to drink coffee out of my joyful mugs.

Thankfully two days after Zayne passed I found a black mug at Fred Meyer and that mug became my grieving mug.

It’s Easter morning. When Zayne was a toddler he had lots of blonde fluffy hair that stood straight up and he looked like the cutest Easter duckling.

I always thought that someday I would decorate Easter eggs with Zayne’s kids and tell them about how their Dad looked liked a Easter duckling when he was little.

Needless to say, today I choose the black mug.

Coffee, peeps, and tears. That was my Easter morning.

Remember this – Those who mourn – heal. Those who don’t mourn – live with a never ending ache.

Steven Shomler


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Grieving Wears You Out


My Heart Aches So Much

Grieving Wears You Out

Last night I could not sleep. I just kept crying. My heart was so full of ache and hurt.

It was so tough to do my radio show this morning. I had no energy.

Once my radio show was over I made one stop for a client and then I had to come home. All I could do was take a nap.

It feels so awkward and unproductive to have days like this. I am used to going 100 MPH and making things happen. I don’t like it.

Grieving really does wear you out. I really don’t like that part of the grieving journey.

Don’t get me wrong — I am going to keep grieving.

I am going to keep grieving because I know that it is a journey and the only way to healthfully move through it — it is to walk it out.

If you avoid grieving — you never heal. I am going to heal. It’s just gonna take a long time.

One more thing — grieving sucks. It really does.

Steven Shomler

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Today I Saw a Grief Counselor

Healthy People Grieve

Today I Saw a Grief Counselor

Today I went and saw a grief counselor. Got to practice what you preach.

Very helpful visit. The counselor talked to me about trauma and grieving.

I know about grieving. I did not know about trauma.

I was the one who found my son Zayne and that was traumatic for me.

The counselor shared some helpful things with me about recovering from trauma.

If you are grieving a loss, please consider seeing a grief counselor.

Steven Shomler

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The Two Word Dedication – For Zayne

Portland Coffee Stories And Donut Tales

The Two Word Dedication – For Zayne

Zayne’s passing on February 8th, took the wind out of me and I ended up needing to take a break from writing my third book – Portland Coffee Stories and Donut Tales .

Tonight – Tuesday, March 15th, was my first interview with someone for that book since my son Zayne passed away on Feb 8th. I interviewed my friends Daniel and Isabel founders of Churros Locos. We met at Old Town Brewing. It was to interview someone for for third book at a place that was in my second book – Portland Beer Stories.

Churros Locos

Here’s the thing — I was on the verge of tears the whole time I was doing the interview with Daniel and Isabel. At the end of the interview, I did break down and cry. Daniel and Isabel very kind to me as I sobbed there at the table in Old Town Brewing.

Not only was Zayne one of the biggest supporters to my dream of becoming an author, he loved the Churros Locos Food Cart and last summer Daniel and Isabel  sent me home with a special bacon wrapped churro for Zayne to enjoy and he loved it so much.

Daniel Isabel Churros Locos   Zayne Shomler Churros Locos

Daniel and Isabel have such an inspiring story and Zayne would have loved it!

I have such an ache. Normally I would head home and tell Zayne all about it. I can’t do that any more and that just wrecks me.

It feels good to be back writing this book, but it is tough.

Two weeks ago I wrote the two word dedication for Portland Coffee Stories and Donut Tales — “For Zayne.”

I will finish this book as a way to honor the belief Zayne had in me. I will likely do much crying as I do.

People who grieve well, live well.

Steven  Shomler


Churros Locos

Churros Locos

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Let The Crying Happen

Let The Crying Happen

Going through my emails this morning – Friday March 11th,  I came across this email (see photo below). This email was was sent to me the morning after my Son Zayne passed.

It triggered quite a bit of crying and wailing.

When you are grieving you will come across certain triggers that will bring forth your tears.

Crying is how we heal. Don’t stuff the tears. Let it out.

I know that it hurts. Cry anyways.

Steven Shomler

Let The Crying Happen

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I Have Very Tough News To Share – February 9th, 2016 2:33 AM

Zayne Steven Shomler

I Have Very Tough News To Share – February 9th, 2016 2:33 AM

The last Facebook post I made that brutal night was this one —

“I have very tough news to share.

Tonight – February 8, 2016 my 17 year old son Zayne Shomler passed away.

Zayne was my son and my friend and he will be greatly missed.

I invite you to remember him and honor him by clicking like to this gut wrenching post.

Zayne was an amazing young man and he will be deeply missed.

All of us in Zayne’s immediate family, Gayla , Chelsea , Zac Shomler and Zeke  and myself are grieving intensely and at the some time we are each safe and being cared for.

Later this week we will have a memorial service to celebrate Zayne’s life. I will provide the details of this service when I have them.

If you find yourself tearing up or crying in the face of this gut wrenching news, please know that grieving is healthy and so are tears.

If anyone ever tells you not to cry in times like these, punch them in the face and tell them to F off.

My thoughts and prayers are with you as you process this awful news.

I so wish that I could hug you and provide you some comfort.

This #DadHat post is brutal. Thank you in advance for your kindness and care.

Your are in my prayers.”

The only thing I did that night harder that writing this post was telling Zayne’s Mother and Siblings that he had passed way, but those are stories for another time…

Following this Facebook post, I sat on the couch and cried and drank whiskey for the next 3 and half hours. My dear friend Kevin Brusett was there on the coach next to me and his presence was so meaningful. I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to have a real Matt 9:36 / Poimen/ Strong’s 4166 pastor with me, caring for my heart.

Steven Shomler

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I Don’t Often Speak of my Faith February 9th, 2016 2:10 AM

A Grief Expressed


I Don’t Often Speak of my Faith February 9th, 2016 2:10 AM

The next Facebook post I made was intended to care for the many people I know with a faith background that is Christian oriented.

Some of those people would have pain* attached to that faith background and when they learned that Zayne has passed away, their faith would be challenged.

*Pain  – In my past I worked full time for more ten years as pastor and I have planted (started) three churches and I have worked for as a chaplain in a Portland rescue mission and homeless shelter and I know first hand that Christianity has F- ed up a lot of people and a lot of people who believe in and love Jesus, have been hurt by Christianity.

Thankfully, it is Jesus who is “The Way, The Truth and The Life” and not Christianity. I have often told hurting people with a Jesus centric faith background to not let Christianity keep them from Jesus.

The Christians with a “solid faith” would be okay, my pastoral heart wanted to care for those whose faith might be shaken by this tragedy.

I have since heard from a number of people who saw this particular facebook post and were helped in their Jesus centric faith  journey by it.

Here is what I wrote, and below the words is the photo I posted with them —

“I don’t often speak of my faith.

While I am not that fond of Christianity, I do believe in the Jesus of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

I don’t think that you need a particular religion to connect with Jesus. In my opinion, It is Jesus (not the religion of Christianity) who is “The Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Tonight in the face of intense grieving I take great comfort in the words found in knew .

In my opinion, some day in the future there will be a new heaven and new earth and as the Bible promises – there will be no more “death or mourning or crying or pain”.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:3-4


‪#‎LookingForwardToThatSomeday‬ “


Steven Shomler

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