I have to agree that talking about a proposal, or even hoping for one right now is not a good idea. You might need to revise your plans about breaking up seeing as circumstances beyond anyone’s control have stepped in and you guys need to be able to work through things like that, even when it leads to the disappointment of postponing things some.
I know one couple who got engaged fairly soon after his mother died suddenly following a car accident – for him it drove home the fact that you really don’t have forever to make up your mind about such things, and that he’d missed out on his mom being there for his wedding by delaying. Also, going through such a loss as “just” BF and GF may have shown him that it takes that piece of paper for your SO to be recognized and honored as important in your life – BFs and GFs don’t get the same treatment as FIs, or wives or husbands during funeral planning – FIs and spouses get listed as survivors by most newspapers, while BFs and GFs do not without an extra charge (in my 7 years working for newspapers). So having her left out of such things may have helped him realize exactly how important marriage is.
But, I also have a friend who was happy to get engaged, and had even been pushing for it, but then so distraught over her mother’s death within a year of the engagement (she’d been very sick a very long time) that she ended up postponing the wedding for 3 years, until this past March. She’d been hoping in vain that her mother’s health would improve, and it just wasn’t possible with all the had going on inside her. Her daughter’s regret at not getting married when her mother was alive ate away at her, making her hesitant to even get married at all. The daughter even moved out from living with her BF (they’d been living together about 7 years) at one point because she was having trouble coping with her grief, guilt and regret. The engagement of another set of friends, and the fairly quick setting of their own wedding date for less than a year into the engagment helped spur the 3-year-engaged couple into solidifying their plans and going on and getting happily married.
I’m not saying your BF will be thinkning anyhting like this, just that a close family death can do lots of things to someone. Your BF needs your support and unconditional love right now. Holding his hand through all of this, even though he knows your feelings about possibly breaking up should a proposal not be forthcoming will go a long way to showing him you care about HIM and not a ring or a white dress.
Also, I heard something on the radio one day that’s good to remember if marriage is where you’re hoping to head:
It’s for better and for WORSE, not for better and better
How you guys make it through the bad times is far more important than any easy times – that’s when you show each other how much stronger you are as a unit instead of singly. All of that said, I DO hope he is able to show you HE cares for you, and that at some point when it’s appropriate, he brings it up, himself.