DEAR CAROLYN: My fiancé and I have planned our wedding for May 2. My mother passed away from cancer in June of last year, and this wedding was seen as an event that we thought would bring great joy to a year that has been filled with so much sadness.
My fiancé’s father has also been battling cancer, and he just took a turn for the worse this past weekend. His doctor is giving him only a few days left to live.
I am struggling with the idea of having our wedding two months, or possibly even closer, to the death of my fiancé’s father.
I feel like we should cancel the wedding, even if it is something we’ve both dreamed about.
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DEAR BRIDE-TO-BE: I’m sorry. Grief makes it hard to imagine joy.
At least, it does for a time. Then, at some point, one that can’t be planned for, it lifts enough to make room for a complicated range of emotions. You probably experienced this yourself when you lost your mom, the odd jaggedy phase where your ability to laugh returns but the urge to cry remains. It’s when you’re sure anyone viewing you from the outside has to believe you’ve gone nuts.
This phase would be a fine time for a wedding, I think. Why not? Laugh and cry and embrace life hard.
What matters here is whether you want your joy this messy, or whether you want more time. It may seem otherwise, but even nine weeks out, you don’t have to decide anything now. Just be present for his father and for each other. My best to you both.
DEAR CAROLYN: I recently began dating a friend of a friend, and after a great start, we’ve hit a snag. Our routine consists of me initiating communication 90-plus percent of the time.
I have no issue with playing the traditional “man” role and pursuing/courting a woman, especially in a new relationship. But I don’t feel comfortable being the only one who calls/texts/initiates dates/pays.
I ended the last several calls and dates with “Give me a call tomorrow; let me know how your day went,” or, “Let’s talk; call me when you get home and get settled in.”
I don’t think it’s healthy for me to engage in mind-reading or what I call “relationship CSI” … but I would like to know what’s going on. I wonder if I should just move on until she’s ready to talk to me, if ever. What do you think?
DEAR G.: You have only one thing to do, and that is to decide which is more important to you: reciprocation, even if it means not dating her or anyone else till you get it; or her companionship, even if it means receiving it only on her one-way terms.