Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have

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Feeling of Disbelief


A family member (relative through marriage) died over the weekend. At first this was the upsetting news that left me feeling sad; that was until I read the obituary later and learned he had remarried and never mentioned it. So not only did I find out he died-but also he had gotten married and never told anyone besides his closest family. It just feels so surreal. I didn’t expect for him to die so soon despite being ill and I certainly never dreamt he would have gone and remarried. There’s nothing wrong with him remarrying. That is not the issue. What I am having trouble with is why he would keep that information from his extended family.


Image credit: Pixabay

Isn’t getting married (even if it’s a second time around) good news worth sharing? Did he think we’d be upset since his first wife (our blood relative) only died not quite two years ago? We kept in touch but we hadn’t visited since the same year his first wife died close to two years ago. Anyhow, I know it isn’t earth shattering he got remarried and never told us but finding out the same day I learnt he died has been a shocker. It kind of feels like a betrayal-I know it is not-but that doesn’t stop the thought from entering my mind that he obviously didn’t think enough of anyone outside his closest relations to share the news.


Image credit: Pixabay


So I feel hurt. I think he should have told us. It sucks learning about something through a person’s obituary. I feel discombobulated. We weren’t terribly close, I suppose when it comes down to it, but he felt we were family enough to know about how ill he was, so why not him meeting someone and remarrying? This is all fresh news for me so I am still processing it but maybe it will be less painful in the days to come. I’m not sure if I ought to attend his funeral or not given we aren’t blood relations nor close friends. It might be awkward to have to meet his wife and I don’t want to cause conflict or tension for his family that was around him regularly (especially since we never were introduced to them).



Image credit: Pixabay

You know, I kind of feel angry now that I’ve had time to digest the news. It’s like suddenly I have to change the narrative of the relationship; okay, so I think it’s actually more that I am being forced to confront the fact we weren’t as close as I tried to tell myself. I was aware of the parameters of the relationship and it being lacking but still… When someone dies it forces you to confront the stuff you tried (I tried) to push down and not think about. Now that I am facing the redefinition of our relationship I feel all the emotions associated with the five stages of grief circulating through me.


Image credit: pixabay

He was my last connection to the relative I was blood related to. The fact he remarried p*sses me off because it ruins the way I viewed the couple and I kind of feel cheated. Yes, it’s immature but the blood relation (his first wife) and him were my godparents. So even though they never acted in that capacity I am annoyed and hurt. Perhaps he wanted to avoid dealing with people (including myself) who would be conflicted over his choice to remarry. I sort of wish he had told me while he was living though because then I would not be dealing with shock over him dying AND remarrying.

Okay, I guess I am through for now. This writing has helped me in a cathartic way. That’s why I like writing when I am super upset because it acts as a catharsis so long as I am totally honest with myself.

Thank you for reading.

©Natalya Lyubov, 2017.



Feeling Overwhelmed

So I had lunch today with my dad and aunt at a restaurant nearby; it went okay as far as the food went but the conversation was less pleasing. My dad decided to run by my aunt a few things he’s been fixated on over the past year and I have had to hear about from him regularly. Honestly, I don’t know if I believe all that he says because it sounds like paranoid thinking to my mind. That being said he believes it and I have no way to verify what he said as true short of confronting the people thought to be involved and asking them what they said, which would be horribly awkward and offensive considering the content. Legal advice might solve the issues but I don’t know how to approach the topic since I only heard what my dad said and not the other people involved. Much of the discussion is really awful and makes me feel disbelieving.


I would like to consider the legal counsel route but I have trouble thinking on the situation since it involves some ‘touchy’ topics. The situation makes me feel quite ill really. I hate thinking about it all. If my dad is wrong and actually delusional than is a lawyer going to be able to help?

At first I was angry with my dad for being fixated on the subject but now I just feel overwhelmingly helpless and sad. Yes, I can maybe contact a lawyer or someone like that but I don’t feel like I have the right to interfere. My dad might be okay with me seeking legal advice for him but it makes little difference in how I feel cornered and pressured to be dad’s champion. My aunt asked me and I couldn’t think of a way to say no. It would be better if my dad was willing to address the issue himself but he tends to communicate poorly. He has a few learning disabilities and his ability to express himself is somewhat limited in more complex situations. Hence, the reason my aunt wanted me to talk for my dad. But I am not sure I can do it.


The main reason I feel a desire to help is I figure it might give my dad some concrete facts instead of what he believes was said orally between him and the others involved. I’m skeptical of the events occurring as he said they did but I don’t have any proof for either side of the claim. Also, I am concerned that any inquiry made by the lawyer (if I go that route) may alert the other people involved since it’s an argument over a will. All I want is to have the lawyer say whether there’s a will or not and if my dad was included in it as a recipient. Then I can figure out if more needs to be done or not. As it stands, I don’t have confirmation of anything so any facts the lawyer could give would help. Beyond that I am not looking forward to because I hate confrontation and conflict.

I wish I could hibernate for the winter and avoid any conflict until Spring when it’s not so dreary outside. Maybe I would have a brighter outlook by then and my dad might actually have figured out the situation wasn’t as bad as he believed. If only.

Thanks for reading.

©Natalya L., Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2016.


Book Recommendation: Life after near Death

Buy the book here:  or here:


I don’t know much German so Google translated the phrase out of curiosity. It translates literally as “Quick flees the time was ready” which I think may be better stated as “our time goes too quickly” or perhaps “Times flies before we are ready”. Sorry for the poor translation.

As a NDE (near death experiencer) this book is invaluable. I finally feel like there are answers to the questions I have had ever since my NDE in late 2000. The author has had her own NDE and interviews others including their experiences in her book. She comes from a research background so it’s not a book filled with ‘New Age’ concepts as much as personal stories and evidence based research (but don’t worry it is far from dry or tedious).

The book came out earlier this year and I just found it at my local library. It has given me a sense of peace knowing I am not alone in what I experienced and the after effects of the NDE. I even found myself thinking “aha! so that’s WHY I do/feel like that” and just generally feeling less crazy. Best of all is finding out about how all people who’ve had a NDE have muddy brown/black and white in their aura representing the trauma and shift in consciousness following the NDE. A friend able to see/read auras told me (before I found this book) I had a the black and white colours in my aura as described in the book. It really helped me feel better knowing everyone has that aura if they’ve had a NDE.

If you have had a Near Death Experience or know someone who has you should read this book! I’m not getting paid to promote or endorse or anything-I just want people to have something they can go to and find comfort/answers to some of their questions about the near death experience. You might find it in your local library or book store or you can order it on Amazon.

©Natalya for Reflections on Life Thus Far, 2016.


October: The Month For Deaths

My mother died five years ago yesterday and my grandmother died this past weekend. It’s been a difficult month for me.


Death (Photo credit: tanakawho)

First my grandmother took a stroke then a week later was dead. I joked with my counsellor on Tuesday that it was a pity my grandmother couldn’t have died last month so I’d only have one death to deal with this month! Of course my mother died five years ago so technically my grandmother dying only makes it one death but it’s the timing of it. It just triggers me.

Yesterday I felt extremely tired so couldn’t post anything. I didn’t do anything special to mark the five year anniversary of mom’s death either. Just couldn’t muster up the energy. Took a nap then turned in early for me (9:30 pm). Dealing with deaths and processing serious things in counselling left me quite tired.

The funeral for my grandmother is this Saturday and I am not going to attend. I discussed it with my counsellor and said I didn’t think I’d gain anything from going. Instead, I’d just be triggered by family in attendance. My sister, niece and dad are going so at least they will be there. I just can’t handle being in a place where they pretend the dead person never had flaws and speak about them in glowing terms. You may recall from my previous posts that my grandmother was very abusive to her children. The obituary one of my aunts wrote is a complete whitewashing of her life into something I couldn’t recognize.

I seriously hate phoniness and my mom’s side of the family that would be at the funeral are all phony. The ones not attending are more realistic. It doesn’t matter to me what they think when they find I have not shown up for the funeral. They can think what they like as they always have done.

©Natalya, 2012-2013.


Grandmother Died Today

Well my grandmother died earlier today (Saturday). I don’t feel much of anything at the moment. We weren’t close and I didn’t exactly love her so I’m not sure if I “should” feel anything now or not. She took a stroke a week ago in the nursing home she was in and couldn’t swallow afterward. As she also had dementia and was in a very poor state no food or water was pushed on her. Thus; it was a matter of waiting ’til she died “naturally”.

There will be a small service for the benefit of my aunts and dad who had an attachment to her. Personally, I never was able to form loving feelings for her because my mother had always told me about her when I was growing up in a very negative light. She had abused her children severely and I just couldn’t develop the warm feelings one does for their grandparents typically. The maternal grandfather was a pedophile so I didn’t think much of him either. Mom kept my sister and I away from her parents when we were growing up because she never forgave them. So not meeting my grandmother until an adult it was harder to form loving feelings for her.

I’m not sure there is any merit to my attending her funeral service given I’ll have to see family there I prefer to avoid. Is it really beneficial to attend a funeral service when I don’t feel anything for the deceased? Granted it is “proper” and “expected” one attend their grandparent’s funeral if able to but “proper” and “expected” are in the realm of inauthentic  and I try to be authentic. So, what to do? Hmmm. I know I will just have to meditate on the dilemma and see what comes to me that way.

How do you deal with death of family members you don’t love?

©Natalya, 2013.



Grandmother is Dying


Mother (Photo credit: Masashi Mochida) Likely a better mother than the ones in my family!

My maternal grandmother took a stroke on the weekend and can’t swallow so is waiting to die from lack of food/drink. She’s got dementia and is in her mid 80s so she has had a long life. She was a terrible mother to her children because she shouldn’t have had kids in the first place as she didn’t like them. But her pedophile husband wanted kids and things went downhill from there. Anyhow, my grandmother brutalized my mother and never supported her when she told her about her father sexually abusing her. Instead the grandmother told my mother to leave home (mom was 17 or 18 then).  Mom always told me when I was growing up about how horrible her mother was to her so I never developed loving feelings toward my maternal grandmother. Now grandmother is dying and I feel completely indifferent.

When I found out on Sunday that my grandmother was dying I felt the same indifference. No emotion. Just an acceptance of the fact. Does this mean I am a bad person for having no emotional reaction to the news my grandmother is going to die shortly? If I am totally honest then I must admit I felt relief then worry should there be a funeral where I’ll have to see other family there I never have contact with-or very little anyway. This concern about the funeral possibility ruined my relief over my grandmother dying. Yes, I know that sounds dreadful but it’s a complicated situation.

So what is the proper response to a relative dying you’ve never felt love for? Should I try to “act” a certain way? Or, is it better to simply be honest and not fake what I don’t feel? Either way you see it I can be nothing else but honest because I am sick of false pretenses and facades. My mother’s side of the family is the master of facades and false pretenses which is why I want to deviate from that and be honest! To hell with what they think of me. If they want to see me cry sad tears over my grandmother they’ll be waiting a long time. I cried when my mom died but they weren’t tears of sadness; they were tears of anger, grief and regret. But they never knew that. They still think I miss my mother but it’s been 5 years this month since her death and I never missed her. I only ever felt grief because our relationship had been such a disaster.

Now my grandmother’s lying in a nursing home dying and all I can think about is the phony shit I’ll have to deal with on my mom’s side of the family. They’ll likely not mention the abuse any of us suffered or the negative times that outnumbered the positive. No, that would be too much like authenticity and my mother’s family doesn’t do that. The most authenticity you get is from the ones who won’t come to the funeral (if there’s one) because they still feel bitter from the abuse they suffered as children. The rest act like nothing happened or if something did happen it’s in the past so don’t bring it up.

I’m not able to forget my childhood or whitewash it like my aunts have. Their father was a pedophile but they never talk about it. Maybe that’s normal but I figure it just adds to the shame if you keep it secret or talk only in hushed tones about it.None of that feels very validating to me and I’m not even the one who grew up with the pedophile father and physically/emotionally abusive mother. My own mother sexually abused me but I don’t think she was a pedophile but that is not an argument I want to have today.

Guess I’ll have to wait ’til she dies so I can find out how the rest of the family reacts.

©Natalya, 2013.


Nine Lives?

Yesterday when I was out my dad and I came upon a dead cat lying on the road. S/he was on their side and hadn’t been driven

Cat bliss

Not the hit cat. (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

over but I imagine hit and killed. It was an 80 km/hr zone on that stretch of road so hard to stop to move him/her. I felt bereft because the cat looked so defenseless and vulnerable lying there void of life. The thought came to mind what would his/her “owners”/humans think when their cat didn’t come home? Would they find out s/he had been hit and killed? I wanted to go back and move the cat’s body before s/he got run over and was unrecognizable. But I didn’t go back because I didn’t have gloves and there were cars to think about-I didn’t want to join the cat!

What do you do when you find animals on the road that have been killed? I don’t mean the ones that are no longer identifiable but the “intact” ones. Sometimes I think about moving them but they’re always on busy roads/highways so I can’t move them unless I want to be hit too! 😛

©Natalya, 2013.


Reviewing My Life

Artist unknown. Found on Pinterest.

Tomorrow’s portfolio workshop session I am attending requires me to have some homework done. I’m supposed to start from the year I was born and finish with the present year. Each year should have something next to it like an event or some type of memory you have or have been told about that year. Yesterday I started with the year I was born (1982) and got as far as 2003 before having to leave the rest for today. It was really overwhelming seeing all the things that had happened in my life. I’ve got my own memories from age 2-3 and on so only had to use stuff that was told to me for ’82, ’83 and some of ’84. Most involved trauma of some sort so the process of chronicling my life year by year was not fun or easy. Apparently the process must be to have us examine what’s occurred over our lifetime in a compact, tidy manner. Perhaps we’re supposed to see everything we’ve lived through and realize we have resources we didn’t realize we had, or skills we didn’t know of until we wrote it down. The only thing I’ve discovered, at this point, is I have had a number of sh*tty years with very few decent ones. Lets just say this timeline won’t be going with me on any job interviews!

©Natalya, 2013.



Sometimes I realize I behave rather poorly, insecurely I guess. It gets in the way of me

Armadillos have built in boundaries!

having “normal” social interactions. I’m not asocial or unwelcoming of people but I struggle with my boundaries being crossed. My mom used to invade my personal space and not allow me any privacy when I was growing up so now I’m standoffish if I have to interact with someone (in a way that causes me to remember those boundary violations). I feel guilty that I can’t behave like a “normal” person and just accept people in my space. But, like I said, it creates anxiety since I never had any of my boundaries respected when I was a child. Now I can be a bit rigid with my boundaries, as opposed to flexible. How do I get past this rigidity and become comfortable with a more flexible set of boundaries?

Why can’t I just wipe out the past traumas and be like other people? I really don’t know how to get myself to the place inside where I’m alright interacting with people not concerned with my safety. I’m so used to not having my personal boundaries respected that these past four years since my mom’s been dead have been the only years of my life where I’ve been permitted privacy. Prior to her death I dealt with her walking in on me in my bedroom without knocking on my door, walking in on me in the bathroom without knocking and so many other instances where she didn’t act like I had any rights-rights to not be touched or looked at inappropriately, rights to have my possessions left alone and not taken or used without permission. I feel like I’ve spent my whole life on guard against being violated because of my boundaries being continuously disregarded.

Keep Out!

Now I have the privacy I always wanted but I am sometimes too quick to shut people out in order to protect myself, whether there is a threat present or not. My mind wants to have me forever hiding so I’m finally able to relax and let out my breath I’ve been symbolically holding in for so much of my life. It feels bittersweet being granted this privacy whilst being on-guard all the time just below my conscious awareness. Much like, I imagine, a prison camp survivor would feel after being freed and worrying about food and potential punishments-despite being away from those problems.

How long is it going to take me to feel safe enough in my personal space that I can allow others in without disregarding my boundaries? It’s been 4.3 years since my mom died but sometimes it feels like she’s not gone at all. I know in my head she’s dead but my hyper-vigilance hasn’t completely left me either.

I’ve had dreams where she’s still alive and I get scared and think it can’t be true because I know she died. But I have these dreams sometimes and they feel real to me. Then I wake up and remember she’s still dead but I hate those dreams. They’re not nightmares but anxiety filled dreams where my mom is still alive and sometimes recovers (from the Alzheimer’s) but she’s still dysfunctional. I’m left unable to say anything as everyone around me acts like it’s perfectly normal my mom’s come out of her Alzheimer’s and is no longer dying. Yet she never returns to how she was when I remember her as functional, she returns to a state where she’s still disturbed but has her wits about her. It’s profoundly disturbing when I have these dreams because they really do feel incredibly real to me.

Has anyone else had the experience of dreaming a dead person was alive again in your 213498838557069941_M7zJXQU9dream/nightmare that you had a bad relationship with? Am I trying to ‘fix’ my relationship somehow through my dreams at night? They don’t typically resolve anything but occasionally my mom and I get along in my dreams. Some of them are actually good but others leave me panic stricken unsure of what’s true or reality as she seems to come back to life again (but not happy and healthy). Why do I dream these unsettling scenarios over and over again but in slightly differing ways?

Shortly after my mom died I dreamed a lot of distressing dreams involving her trying to attack me. Those dreams stopped but the ones with her alive have been a mixture of positive and negative. Some she’s nice to me in and some of my dreams she’s indifferent to me. Am I supposed to be getting a message from these disturbing and surprising dreams? The number of times I’ve woke up to think my mom is still alive is too many. I’m tired of this. Tired of feeling like mom isn’t dead and tired of feeling she’s still around at times.

©Natalya, 2013.


Meditation On a Moth’s Life

I’m sharing this post because it made me cry! I felt so humbled and touched by Lijiun’s compassion and wisdom for one moth. May you be touched as well 🙂