(Closed) Is anyone else planning a wedding with a terminally ill family member?

posted 8 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I’m so, so sorry for your Future Father-In-Law, you Fiance, you, and your families. This hasn’t happened to me personally, but it did happen to my cousin. Her FI’s mother was ill with cancer on and off for years, and it worsened after they got engaged. They planned a 9 month engagement and decided to keep to that schedule, knowing that the mother may or may not make it. She got extremely ill two weeks before the wedding and actually passed the day before the wedding… I’m not really sure the timing could have been worse for them. But, they did go and visit her as much as possible in that time (they lived half the country away), saw her the week before she passed, and were able to participate in all of the funeral and such (they canceled their honeymoon and re-booked it for 3 mo later). I guess the silver lining to it was that when she got so ill none of her FI’s immediate family (father or siblings) were planning to go to the wedding because they didn’t want to be away from his mother, but her passing left time for everyone to buy plane tickets and get to colorado for the wedding. 

So, yea… no real advice I guess. Just know that you’re not the only one it has happened to, and it does really suck . It sounds like you’re doing everything you can to support your Fiance, which is really what is important. 

Post # 4
Member
4001 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Oh man, I’m so sorry you’re both going through this.  You’re right, it will make your relationship stronger.  Now, I might be missing some details, but with your Father-In-Law passing, can you do a small, intimate ceremony with the closest family?  Before he’s gone.  That way, he’s there to celebrate and to see his son marry the woman he loves, and you can still have the wedding you desire another time.  The thing is, I don’t know that your FI’s father would want to take away your dream of a beautiful wedding.  Therefore I don’t think its wrong to want to have it, assuming it won’t upset your Fiance and his family.  Talk to him about it, see what he is comfortable with. 

Post # 5
Member
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

That does suck…and is extremly hard.  My Fiance and I have had plans for his grandfather (an ordained minister) to marry us for years (he has married everyone else in the family…FI’s parents, mom the second time around and now his little brother), but just recently he got diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and it’s difficult for him to talk/breathe.  Our original plans were to get married in a garden outdoors, but with the difficulty he’s been having, we moved the ceremony inside a church so he could have access to a microphone and another pastor to take care of everything in the ceremony besides the vows.  I never thought I’d be getting married in a church, but I feel that including my FI’s grandfather is more important than the location of the wedding. 

 

I’m sorry for what you’re going through…I know it’s tough, but when you look back at the day, you will be glad that you added that little bit of extra stress so he could be in the photos and enjoy the day as much as you.  You can always have a small, intimate wedding with just family and then plan a larger party/ceremony for your 1 year anniversary…just an idea.  Good luck and know that you are not alone.

Post # 6
Member
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I misspoke…I believe it’s pulmonary fibrosis not cystic fibrosis.  I believe cystic fibrosis is diagnosed at a younger age and not a lot of people live past their 20”s or 30’s. 

Post # 8
Member
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I am sorry to hear about the situation you are going through…My fiance’ and myself lost my grandmother the day before Thanksgiving, lost his mother two weeks later and now TODAY, we will be attending his grandfathers funeral. It has been a rough couple of months for us, planning a wedding and also celebrating thier lives at thier own funerals. His mother was ill…on oxygen yet kept smoking (secretivly) and told me to keep her secret. I had a melt down and told the family (in an hyperventalative crazy-rant-like breakdown) It really upset me…and I remember screaming across the dinner table “don’t you want to see your son get married? don’t you want to see your grandchildren?” Looking back I wish I would not have said that, due to three weeks later, she passed. I think that I will always kick myself in the butt for doing so…

My grandmother was terminally ill with cancer and passed peacefully in her sleep, she had the opportunity to tell us how much she loved us and vise-versa…I cherish every memory that I have ever had with this women, she is such an inspiration…my future chidren will know every detail about this womens life. His grandfather passed this last friday…all I know is that all 3 are in a peaceful place.  I know “physically” they will not be with us while we get married, have babies and whatever life brings our way…but I do know that they are with us in spirt…I loved all three and miss them everyday…

My rabbi states that death is a part of life, you need to vocalize to your loved ones everyday, how much that they are loved and your deepest thoughts…let them know…you will find peace within when done so…

Post # 9
Member
7408 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

We are actually going through this right now.  FI’s step mom was diagnosed with cancer about a week after we got engaged.  At that time it was a somewhat hopeful situation and we continued on with our plans because we didn’t want her thinking we were trying to rush her to an early grave by moving up the date.  She said it was something to look forward to.  Now, 7 months out from the wedding, things are looking pretty grim and Fiance (and family) have come to the realization that, barring a miracle, she will not make it to our wedding.  It will be very sad that she will not be there, but even if we had moved it up there was no guarentee that she would make it that long and be able to attend.  I don’t think there is any “right” answer about what to do- except what is right for you and your fiance.  I am so sorry you are going through this too.  It makes it hard to be happy and look forward to your wedding when this is happening at the same time.  Keep us all posted- because we’ll be thinking about you.

Post # 10
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

So, the orginial plan was family only? Or… was it for a bigger wedding?

While a different circumstance, I shot a wedding yesterday that was just me (photographer), officiant, and the couple. It was actually amazing and I LOVE LOVE small intimate weddings. I think it would be really special to get married with his dad there but still plan your “other” wedding.

The pictures we were able to get were otherworldly last night… I imagine it would be the same for you.  And, I bet your future husband would treasure those images of your intimate wedding with his father so so much… as would the rest of his family. 

Details are hard to let go of, but not nearly as hard as it is to let go of a parent. I’ll say some prayers for your Future Father-In-Law and family.

Post # 13
Member
112 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I am sorry to hear what you are going through and completly understand how you are feeling.

My mum is suffering from terminal cancer, it came back shortly after our engagement and like it often does has come back with vengance.  Its really tough, we thought about bringing our wedding forward but with only 11 months to plan anyway plus my mum wasnt having any of it.

The good thing is that she is really lookin forward to it and i keep being told that its great for people with a terminal condition to have something to aim to, something to look forward to.

She has been and bought her outfit and her and my dad came with me when i went dress shopping.  It was very emotional and when i tried on ‘the one’ i knew it was meant to be as my mum and dad held hands and both had tears in their eyes.

Its really tough as i know you understand but i know that what im doing is making my mum happy and what more could i ask for. xx

Post # 14
Member
7408 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’m glad that you are coming to a sense of peace about the situation.  Even though he won’t be there at the wedding, I’m sure you will find a sepcial way to honor him and his spirit will be there with you!

Post # 15
Member
7053 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I was.  She passed (grandma) last month.  It threw me into a tailspin and honestly, my heart just didn’t want to plan anymore.  I kinda quit wedding planning a few weeks after that.

It’s hard, but treat each day as something special.  Honor him now and in little ways and in big ways.

I’ll honor her at the reception, serving cupcakes made from her famous (I think it is anyway) coca cola cake recipe. 

 

Post # 16
Member
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

First of all, that is very sad about your Future Father-In-Law. I am sorry to hear it and can’t imagine how stressful/sad it must be for you and Fiance while planning a wedding. I hope things work out as good as they can.

Second, I am also planning with a terminally ill relative. My cousin (on my Mom’s side) has brian cancer which has been operated on twice now, but they are only giving him weeks to live now. I love my cousin with all my heart and it kills me to think about him not being at the wedding, he is so loving and supportive and the nicest person I know. For him to make it would take a miracle and the extra unfortunate aspect of him not making it is that it means several other family members will have to skip my wedding to stay by his side. Obviously that’s more important than being at my wedding, but it makes me sad to think about.

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