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November 26, 2011


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Our lives are surely a journey of discovery, winding back upon themselves. There's a line from a song by Don Henley (The Heart of the Matter):

I got the call today I didn't wanna hear,
But I knew that it would come,
An old true friend of ours was talkin' on the phone,
She said you found someone,
And I thought of all the bad luck,
And the struggles we went through,
And how I lost me, and you lost you,
What are these voices outside love's open door,
Make us throw off our contentment,
And beg for something more?

I'm learning to live without you now,
But I miss you sometimes,
The more I know, the less I understand,
All the things I thought I knew, I'm learning again,

I've been tryin' to get down to the heart of the matter,
But my will gets weak,
And my thoughts seem to scatter,
But I think it's about forgiveness,
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore...

May her family find some comfort and peace in the days to come. And there is not enough compassion and forgiveness in the world.

White Horse Pilgrim

Becky, those are good words - thank you. In the end it is about forgiveness. Not about re-running scenarios in one's mind in order to try to find the flaw hence the circumstances and deed that might have yielded success. Most probably I was in a no-win situation. I had better see the reality of tragedy pure and simple. The past cannot be replayed hoping for a better outcome. As for peace, I hope that she found some and that her family likewise will do so. As for her daughter who will know so little about her mother - I feel for her. Being adopted I cannot help but feel compassion for one left without a birth mother. But at this distance I could do nothing even if anyone wanted me to.


I can see why you would be disturbed. You finding out now - 12 months after the fact that she passed away is disturbing on so many levels.

Not only did you think that she was alive, living her life, and with a possiblity of peaceful discussion that would resolve old wounds, now there is no closure. There is no last chance to ask questions or to ask her face to face to let it go or to forgive.

40 is young. No two ways about it. And I'm assuming you were older then here so again a reminder of our mortality and uncertainity.

The man who gave me away at my wedding (my father long deceased by that time) died in his sleep - his wife waking to find him cold in bed next to her. These things happen and there is no deep meaning except that we have to live our life today and move forward, honoring the past for the wisdom that it gave us but knowing we made mistakes, some of which we deeply regret.

It sounds like you and Kelli met at time where both of you were pulled together but perhaps not for the best reasons. Something that burns hot in the beginning doesn't always last through the trials that life gives us. Is that a fault with ourselves? or is it just a maturing to look back and go, now I know why I acted in this way and I wish I had done better?


White Horse Pilgrim

Yes it is disturbing on every one of those levels. To have had a discussion, forgiven and healed wounds would have meant a great deal to me. As it is I procrastinated because, after all, she was younger than me.....but (as she was fond of saying) "to assume makes an ass of you and me". I was afraid that communication would end badly if I was too quick. I was concerned not to upset my wife.

I was 40 and she 34 when we met. Circumstances conspired: rebound from failed (or in my case failing) relationships. She seemed so exciting, energetic and outdoor after my dull, negative, stubborn first wife. Yes, mortality is real too. I'm over half way through life and there is so much that I still want to do.

Kelli saved me from that awful first marriage, gving me the spur to put it behind me. She taught me that a woman does not have to be frigid or perverse (my first wife having been both by turns). She showed me how to ride gently yet firmly with consideration for my horse. She made me aware of ancestors and bonds to ancestral lands. I would have liked to thank her properly for these things which at the time I took for granted.

You're right, this is something to look on as a maturing and a gathering of material that may lead to wisdom. I did the best that I could and, having experienced and learnt, have done better since. I did enter a sound relationship with a suitable partner. I did bring my exile to a close and make a big step back towards a normal stable existance. I don't believe that anything will necessarily work out just because I hope that it will.

Besides, she died of natural causes - I don't know what, presumably cancer or another dread disease. Do I wish upon myself to be a widower, perhaps with young children to care for? I don't wish that upon anyone. Most probably my life has turned out for the best after all.

I do appreciate your kind and helpful words.


Well just speculation but it could easily have been just an aneurysm....

Also, never put aside the power of the Internet. Her child, years in the future, may contact you and want to know more about her mother.

Anyway, perhaps the upcoming Winter Solstice would be a good time to perhaps plan a ceremony for her - write that letter and to send it off in flame?

White Horse Pilgrim

Becky: probably I'll never know. Maybe I don't need to know.

I'd be touched and thrilled if one day her child did contact me.

A suitable ceremony is needed. I really do feel the need for that. I'll think on that.

The whole process of grieving is awkward and there are things that I want to say that aren't appropriate to record here in the public domain. I'll main you if you don't mind - hope your address is the same.


This is the better email to reach me out (you should be able to read it through your blog admin area as the user for this comment).

If you have Skype for IM or video chat you can find me on it via the name of my blog Horse Ideology. Best time to reach me is evening my time but you can always email me and tell me you are on and I will open it if I'm home.

White Horse Pilgrim

Thank you: I can read the address and have sent a mail.

I will have to see whether I can make Skype work on this computer. I've not used the system before.


that is a really sad post. The idea of leaving a small child terrifies me, and I am really sad that this happened. I can imagine how you must feel, with everything you went through. I hope she at least found happiness before she died. RIP.

White Horse Pilgrim

She died way too young, Jess, and leaving behind a small child who will not know her mother. It's all so sad. I hope that somehow she gained something in Transylvania that helped her to be happy later.


I know this is out of left field, but did she shoe horses as well? I know of a Kellie Fremming who passed not to terribly long ago, who did endurance and shoed horses, she left behind a young daughter, and two lovely arabians

White Horse Pilgrim

Jen, that does sound just like Kelli. She did shoe horses and rode an Arabian when we were together. I'm so sad at her passing, and I do hope that her daughter is being well looked after and will one day learn more about her mother. Kelli died way too young. Can you tell me any more about what she was doing back in the US and what happened to her?


i knew kelli in high school.R.I.P kelli

Arabian Horsewoman

I just want to say I appreciate your honest and sincere post about Kelli. She had quite a life didn’t she? I only knew her for a short portion of it. Only a few years. She was my horse’s farrier. She was an excellent farrier. We met at a local Arabian Horse Association club meeting up here in Shasta County, California. Unfortunately..... sadly..... we too had a traumatic falling out which I’d rather not go into detail publicly about. I too wish things between her and I didn’t end like that. Unfortunately we cannot change the past. I would have made other decisions had I known what I know now. I still feel terrible about how she had passed from sure a rare condition, especially with such a young child. My heart ached then and it still does over that. I think all of us who’s lives she weaved in and out of ache because of her passing. I’m glad I found your words. In closing, I hope you can make peace with whatever may have happened between you two. I have been trying to as well.


Thank you for posting, and for being so open and honest. Kelli fitted more into four decades than most fit into double that. Kelli learned to shoe whilst she and I were together, and I'm glad that she was able to make a career out of it. I got the feeling that she could excel at any physical task when motivated. I'm sorry that you had a falling out. I did too, obviously. At this distance in time, I cannot place what our disagreement was about, except that she wanted to move on. My heart aches too, and probably always will. We don't excise grief. However we can encase pain within love until its sting is gone. I have found my peace, and hope that you can too.

Curiously, I've just had to help a mare with a big chunk missing from a hoof as the result of an abscess, and fell back on something that Kelli taught me all those years ago. A part of her lives on, positively and with appreciation.

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