I have been very heartbroken for them past few months. I got engaged in June and Immediately picked a date in October 2022 but in July we got the news that my grandfathers cancer had taken a turn for the worst. None of the treatments will shrink the cancer anymore only delay the side effect of it (esophagus cancer). I don't know what to do about my wedding and how to involve him in it. My mom suggested a commitment ceremony for him but I almost feel like I am cheating all of us that way by doing it but will I be more heartbroken if I don’t. I’ve always been very close to him as his first granddaughter and he is now my last surviving grandparent. As far as the wedding date we have not changed our minds or are going to rush it for him (I know he wouldn’t want that anyways especially with Covid right now) but what should we do.
I think having him watch you do a commitment ceremony is really nice and I don’t think it cheats anything Because you will still have your big celebration later on it’s just that right now you want to be able to do some thing that he can partake in.
I’m in a very similar position. We planned for October 2021 and then Covid hit and planning has been stressful and to make matters worse my grandma has been in and out of the hospital. She has emphysema and is on oxygen so a respiratory virus has made out us very on edge for her health. I’m also her first grandchild and grew up across the street from my grandparents so am very close with them. I would be devastated if I lost her before my wedding day. As many 2020 couples have chosen to do we are having a small ceremony this year and then reception next year. We plan to hold the ceremony in my grandparents backyard so she will be able to watch. She was not going to be able to attend our wedding next year due to her oxygen so this is even more special to me because she will get to be there. With the restrictions on weddings where we live we likely would have to postpone anyways so this way if we have to do that at least we’re already married and just postponing the party and not the marriage. I don’t think I’m cheating anyone especially me and FH and actually think this small ceremony with only immediate family will be so special. I think you know in your heart what you need to do. I worried about how next year already being married would feel at first but in the end knew the memories I will have with my grandma on my wedding day would make it all worth it. When I told her what our new plan was she started crying tears of joy and i knew this was the right call
Your wedding is the biggest thing on your landscape. But while parents and grandparents look forward to that milestone, most of all in my experience, when they are sick and old, what they want most is your company. Reminders of you as a child, with younger versions of your parents, family scenes. Someone who wants to talk about times they remember as their happiest, more than changes to come. If he were persistently asking you to push up the marriage, it would be different. As is, when he asks you about it, he is likely pleased to see you so happy talking about it, rather than interested in the wedding itself. With esophageal cancer he likely is not talking much. But likely enjoys hearing about many "remember when" things in the past. And just listening, and hearing you talk happy things. Don't rush things for him. With all the meds likely in him, pleasant company and relating to only happy past things, nothing upsetting, will ease his time left. I am sorry. It is always hard losing someone who was with you all your life.
We had a commitment ceremony for FMIL who is on hospice. It didn’t feel like cheating at all. It felt very special to share that with her so that she could still be apart of our wedding in some way and we would have her blessings. We’re still getting married as we planned to do, but knowing she will not be with us physically, the commitment ceremony helped resolve that and to share something very special with her.
If I knew about commitment ceremonies 3 years ago when my poppop was dying I would've done that in a heartbeat. Him not being at my wedding is a real heartbreak. Like everyone else said do a commitment ceremony!
I think you kinda are pinholed into 3 solutions and you like none of them. It's okay not to like the answer. You can pick 1-2.
-Have a legally binding/or not legally binding minimony and then a big vow renewal /or legal wedding
-Involve the grandparent in how they would like to be remembered in the ceremony/reception such as a memorial table, reserved seat, a tribute to them in your ceremony, maybe a picture on your flowers etc. There are lots of ideas for this.
-Or rush everything because that is a very good reason to rush a wedding. (with being engaged before knowing / not because of knowing). I know you said you hate this idea but let's not kick it off the table.