Why the death of a stranger affected me – HaliPawz

All of us experience high and low moments in life.  I have learned to accept them and just go with them. Yesterday was one of those days which started fairly well.  I was having a good day.  I had completed a blog I liked, I had created some memes for fun, and I was going to Five Guys for a great burger.   While I was at Five Guys, my day plummeted.  I learned about a death of, in reality, a stranger, and it affected me in such a surprising way.

He wasn’t a complete stranger.  I had “met” him a few weeks ago.  He had messaged me on an online dating site. I don’t have too many profiles up as I don’t date all that often anymore, but I still have a couple up. This particular one I had shut off for over a year and just re-activated it.  He had messaged me with a simple statement,

My daughter loves horses

It was an interesting hello but I went to go and look at his profile. It was interesting.  He was confident.  He was attractive.  Then I made it to the bottom of his profile and he shared the fact he wasn’t attracted to overweight women.  It made me pause.  This particular profile, of mine, is pretty accurate. I have two full length pictures. I’m not a skinny woman. Why would he message me? I responded politely to him, as I do for anyone that messages me, and I pointed out I didn’t match all of his profile but was happy to talk to him.

We started exchanging messages back and forth, small, not a lot of substance.  Then he tells me he is looking to take his daughter horseback riding for her birthday.  She loves horses, has been taking lessons for a year.  He asked if I tecommended a place.

Ahhh, now it makes sense…he wasn’t interested in me, but more in the fact I had a horse! I have a couple pics of me and Luke on there.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to be negative on myself.  I respect the fact he was open about his preferences.  I have preferences, we all do.  I just also know it isn’t typical for someone who normally dates skinny, fit, athletic women, to message me. I don’t fit their “likes” and it’s OK. We should never have a problem if someone had a type and we don’t fit it, even if we find them attractive, just like it is ok if someone who is attracted to us doesn’t fit our “type” or we don’t find them attractive.  There is no rule we have to find everyone attractive or vice versa.

The stranger and I talked horses a bit but I was getting ready to go to, ironically, a horse event so I shot him my phone number and my name so I could stop typing and we could discuss his questions quicker.  He responded with his name and number and said he’d call me a little later.

After some phone tag, we finally talked.  I didn’t quite understand why he was asking me some of his questions because he already had an answer and it was an established, positive answer to one of his questions.  He was interesting to talk to.  A little hot headed, quick to comment if he didn’t like what I said.  Not always a great listener when he was passionate about something. He was fun to talk to!

He mentioned being interested in possibly buying a horse for his daughter.  Asked me if I knew anyone who might be selling one.  I said I might.  I’d make a few calls.  We talked or messaged quite a bit.  Sometimes random stuff, sometimes about his daughter.

He had a passion about something I not only understood, but believed in as well.  He said he had the passion but not the words, so his website wasn’t what he would like.  I had read his site. He was right! His wording wasn’t the best.  His passion did not some out.  It was flat. I chuckled and said, well you might be in luck.  I sent him a link to this site so he could read some of my work.   He was excited.  His actual words were, “Could it be….” Then he asked me something about one of my blogs.

We had a falling out. We argued about something silly.  He was so bent on not “labeling” anyone or anything that he was mad I made a blind comment about a horse he was going to look at and I knew nothing about except the age and breed.  My comment was not inaccurate. It was about the breed.  He wasn’t a horse person so he didn’t quite understand it wasn’t a broad statement.  He was pretty upset.  We ended our conversation and I figured I’d never hear from him again.

Surprisingly, I did. He called me the next day.  We talked for a short time.  He didn’t even mention the previous conversation.  He intrigued me.  I never quite understood his way of thinking but had fun talking to him.

He called me during the day a couple days ago and I was busy.  We talked for about five minutes, but I was with someone and in a noisy environment so I told him I would have to talk to him later.  I knew he would have his daughter for the weekend so I told him to have a good time with her.  He mentioned going to see a matinee of the Avengers movie while she was in school the next day.  The way he worded it, I wasn’t sure if he was just mentioning it to mention it or if there was another reason.  I ended the call and decided I would figure it out later.

I didn’t expect to hear from him for a few days but he messaged me later that night. He would sometimes message me via the dating site we originally started talking on, sometimes he would text, sometimes he would call.  There were a few times we even went back and forth between the dating site & texting.

Shortly after 9pm he texted me to see if I was still out.  Sporadically, we learned we were both home, in out of the storms.  For a weird reason, he asked me where I was (had never asked me that before) so I asked him where he was.  When he said home, I responded “Good. Safe and Sound”

I never knew it would be my last words to him.

I texted him the next day, knowing he was with his daughter, and told him I hoped he was having a great day with her.

What followed was something I never saw coming…..

The text back told me he had passed away.

I didn’t understand or comprehend at first.  How could he be gone if “he” was texting me back.

Someone else had his phone.  He or she wasn’t family so they didn’t feel right telling me exactly what happened.  They asked me if I knew the family.  I didn’t.  I barely knew him.  We texted a small bit. I offered my condolences.  The texter admired my stranger friend as an “amazing man and father” and from the little I knew, I believed him.

As the day went on, I struggled with the news.  It was hard processing it. Why was I having such a hard time? I googled his name, trying to find an explanation.  No luck.  Then I went back to his dating profile…to our conversations….like I would find a miraculous explanation at a place no one in his family probably even knew about.

It made me question my own life.  Who would know all the different accounts I had.  Social media….I have all the basics plus some of the random ones.  People I interact with on the smaller ones would just think I got busy, or stopped posting.

Life isn’t guaranteed. We never know what is going to happen one day to the next.  


Closure is an interesting thing.  Without closure, we feel lost, a little in limbo.

I’m hoping, with the posting of this blog, I will feel the closure I am seeking.

RIP to the stranger whom I only knew a short time but who’s passing will stay with me. 


If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz  or

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