Post # 1
I am BRAND new to this site (as I am not even engaged yet). My boyfriend and I have been discussing marriage for the last year or two, and he recently asked me for my ring size (again). We even went to Hawaii in May, and on the plane he told me he wanted to propose then, but couldn’t afford a ring in time. I know he has been saving all year for the ring, but my sister died suddenly the week before Thanksgiving. I assume he will be proposing soon, and my mom was even surprised when it didn’t happen yesterday (Christmas). My parents and I have already had the discussion that it’s okay and even welcomed, we could use some happiness and something to look forward after a long, sad holiday season.
My concern is what I should do after it happens. I am unsure of whether to make a big deal out of it or not (telling my friends, or posting about it online). On the one hand, I have been waiting for this for a long time and it’s very exciting. On the other, I don’t want anyone to think that I am not still grieiving my sister, or that I am moving on too quickly with my life. In no way will becoming engaged make me forget about my sister, it is something I will have to work through for a long time. At the same time, I have been with my boyfriend for over five years, and we bought a house together two years ago and this has been a long time coming.
It feels wrong to even be discussing this so soon after the loss, but I want to prepare for how to handle it so that I can enjoy it and don’t need the added stress of what people will think. Is it wrong to get engaged too quickly after a death? If it is, how long should I wait? Has anyone else had a similar experience?
Post # 2
You can absolutely have moments of happiness in times of grief. I’m sure your sister would want you to celebrate! Sharing the news with friends and family doesn’t mean you don’t miss your sister. I would be shocked if someone had the audacity to question your love for your sister just because you are excited to be engaged.
Post # 3
Sorry for your loss!
I honestly think you should be less concerned about what people think- get engaged and do what feels right, whether that means announcing it on social media or not. If I saw that one of my FB friends got engaged a few months after losing someone close to them I would not immediately think “That’s messed up, she hasn’t grieved long enough, she must not care about her sister, etc”
There is no specific time frame with this stuff, and you should continue to live your life and do what makes you happy as you work through this.
My dad died suddenly and within the following three months I got a boob job, bought a brand new car, got a new job and moved to another city- all big, exciting, happy things and I never thought twice to not do it, I knew my dad wanted me to be happy and continue to do things that make me happy.
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2018 - Fremont, CA
Your sister would most likely want you to go on with your life and be happy.
Be kind to yourself. You have witnessed how brief life can be. All the more reason to enjoy yours fully.
Post # 5
I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one is especially difficult during the holidays. That being said, finding joy in the small and big things can be a powerful way to move forward in the grieving process. It reminds us that there can still be happy times even after something so devastating.
Sending you love and positive thoughts ❤️
Post # 6
You’re right, I should not care what others think. I did buy a car right after we buried her. I had been planning on buying one at that time because my registration was up and my old car was about to hit the dust! No one criticized me (to my face anyway) about that. The death was just so tragic, I guess I’m just worried about others that are also having a hard time with her passing. I don’t want to seem insensitive to those that were very close to her. She and I were not that close, we actually had a hard time getting along.
Post # 7
Thank you all, To those who have responded so quickly, and to those who may comment in the future. Your kind words and encouragement mean more than you know!
Post # 8
No one will want to deny you your happiness. If it was me I would probably do quite a low key engagement announcement like an email to everyone with a nice photo and a more formal statement like “John and I are pleased to announce our engagement….”
I would probably not do a ton of rah-rah engagement posts on social media until some more time had passed.
Post # 9
Not quite the same, but we got engaged about a week and a half after my aunt died suddenly. I wasn’t sure whether to keep it private for some time, but my parents thought that the family needed some good news. They were right, and my cousin (my aunt’s daughter) was thrilled.
Post # 10
I’m so sorry for your loss, bee! I lost my only sister suddenly about 6.5 years ago. And while it wasn’t near my engagement or wedding, I absolutely understand how you’re feeling. Sometimes it seems impossible to feel or share happiness when part of you is dead inside, and on top of that you need to be there and be strong for your parents and/or any other siblings. But please please do NOT feel bad for feeling happiness OR for sharing it with the world! Its what your sister would want in her heart.
A few days after she died I had a Disneyland trip planned with my DH because it was our 1 year dating anniversary and our 1st date was at Disneyland. I remember crying to my parents because I didn’t want to go and couldn’t have fun. I felt sad or guilty even smiling when she wasn’t able to be here. Why should I be happy when she can’t be, or when my parents are falling apart? My parents immediately told me not only did I need to go, but my sister would have wanted me to go and have fun. I went and it was worth it, even if I did cry at almost everything because Disney was such a big part of our family – it was actually therapeutic.
My Facebook and insta were a mix of sad posts to my sister, fun times with DH as we were newly dating, and nights out with my girlfriends. I also bought a house 3 months after she passed and started graduate school, both things that were in work before it happened. I remember going to dinner with someone a few months after she passed and one girl said something like “based on your posts it seems like you’re handling it all very well with her death, you look so happy!” and I remember being so off put by that comment. She made it seem like I was not properly grieving because I was posting about being out with my girlfriends all the time (and this sounds exactly like what you’re afraid of in your post). Just because I posted a picture smiling in a bar with my best friend did not mean in any way shape or form that I was not grieving in my own way, I mean there is a reason I was at a bar every night… And honestly 9 times out of 10 those nights with my girlfriends ended in lots and lots of alcohol induced tears and screams. Also, buying the house and starting grad school were amazing ways for me to focus energy on something else and move forward in life! My parents helped with the house and it was a great project for the entire family, much like a wedding could be for you.
Do what feels right in your heart. For you, for your boyfriend, for your family, for your sister.
No one gets to tell you if your grief is right or wrong. And quite frankly, 99.99% of the people that were giving me those types of comments had not only never lost a sibling, but most had never lost a close family member. They just don’t understand, but unless you’ve been there you never will.
Best wishes to you and your family bee – I’d love to say it gets better but thats not really the right word. Grief gets easier, you become a new person and you just learn to become a new family. <3
Post # 11
Honestly OP, life does keep going on for everyone else even after death of someone close. Life may be different without them but it still goes on and so must you. Grab your moments of happiness and live well in honor of the person you loves passing. A wedding and an engagement is a nice thing and I’m certain your sister would be happy to see you happy and moving forward. Plan your wedding like you would have if she was still alive. You don’t have to tone it down for fear of judgement from others.
Most people will be very happy for you when you get engaged. A good friend if mine lost her sister suddenly as a result of a Complication from cancer. This friend has been so gle for a long time but has started dating a new guy just recently and she posted her first official Facebook picture with him with a caption of Facebook official. My thought was that id so great that she has found some happiness and joy during a what has been a difficult year for her and her family. That seemed to be the consensus amongst all our friends. Not one person judged. Everyone was just genuinely happy for her. I think you will get the same reaction as my friend. People will be genuinely happy for you, if not even more so because they understand what a terrible year you’ve had and are wishing you genuine joy and happiness.
Get engaged and celebrate as you would if your sister was here. She’d want that for you.
Congrats on your upcoming engagement and may your sorrow be replaced with more and more days where you think of your sister and the times you spent together with genuine joy and less heartbreak. It may not feel like it will ever be possible to feel that way now but you will one day.
Post # 12
I think the best thing you can do to honour your sister is to keep living. Cherish these happy moments. You shouldn’t feel guilty for having moments of happiness. I don’t think that anyone in your life who loves you would be thinking anything negative, if they are then they’re probably not the type of people you need in your life.
Post # 13
If anything it might be a good thing a positive distraction, something to look forward to
Post # 14
I lost my brother in a tragic, sudden way. One thing I regret most of all is allowing other people define how I went through my grieving process. My advice is to allow yourself joy anywhere and with any opportunity given to you, and to grieve in any way you feel whenever you feel it. It well help you heal in a healthier way.
A close relative of mine got engaged two months after our loss. Some people criticized them, and they actually put it off for an extra month in an attempt to be respectful. It made that relative feel a bit of joy and STABILITY having something to look forward to and feeling like she was creating a safe, nice family unit and that was important to her and her recovery process.
I encourage you to enjoy engagement, not to put it off, and not to feel bad if you express happiness. People who are looking for fault will find it no matter what you do or how you behave, and your overall happiness and mental health are m ore important than someone’s opinion.
Please update us here with your proposal story and ring! We will gladly and warmly celebrate with you.
Post # 15
I am so sorry for your loss. My sister passed away in October from ovarian cancer. When she was diagnosed in January, I was in full fledged wedding planning mode. I actually canceled my original wedding plans and scaled back in part because of her diagnosis. A week before my wedding, she went in for a biopsy and they ended up doing major surgery to remove tumors in her abdomen. She couldn’t make it to my wedding, but we went forward with our plans. It was super tough. I wanted to be with her while she recovered and I wanted her to be there for my wedding. But I honestly don’t regret our decision to move forward with our plans. The wedding was so happy and beautiful, and she wanted that for me. It’s okay to celebrate the happy moments of your life even when you’re grieving. There is no standard amount of time for grieving the loss of a person who was close to you. I am going to be grieving my sister for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t also be happy about the good things that come my way.
I am sure your sister wants you to get engaged and to celebrate your love. Please don’t worry about how people view your posts. An engagement is an event to be celebrated, and those who love you are going to be happy to celebrate with you.
I wish you happiness and healing at this difficult time. *hugs*