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

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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.

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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.

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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).

 

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.


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Grandmother is Dying

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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.