Death, wedding, stress and guilt

My grandpa is dying, Well he has been in the process of dying for some time now actually.  My grandpa is 85 and has had end stage kidney failure for a few years now as well as a few strokes which impaired his memory and cognitive functions and it has just been getting worse.  Getting old doesn’t just suck for what it does to your body but for what it does to those you love.

I remember being a little kind and my grandpa giving us dimes out of his little change purse so we could go to the little store down the street (this was 35 years ago) I remember him digging in his yard cussing under his breath cause the whole place was full of river rocks (as is most of the Boise Valley) so he would dig these large holes, separate the soil out and bury the rocks again, seemed silly at the time but my grandparents have a great yard now.  He was always sort of neurotic and paranoid but he was always a good man, he loved to sort things be it jelly beans or CDs, he use to collect classical music and catalog everything about every song, every different composer and performers in books, in detail.  It was just who he was.  he is not that person anymore.

My Grandpa is a good man, he worked hard, he loved his family and now he is a shell of that person, no memories as far as we can tell since the strokes have destroyed that part of his brain.  He can barely move and he is helpless.

C.S. Lewis said “You do Not “have” a soul, You are a soul, you “have” a body”  I believe this.

Over the last few weeks he has faded badly and has had a few falls, Last night he fell again and my grandma thinks he had another small stroke last night, he doesn’t seem able to talk and is limp but awake though he does try to get up which is a dangerous thing.  They moved his bed into the front room so they can watch him and my uncle is going to sleep in the front room with him and my aunt and cousins as well as my mom and step dad will watch him during the day when my grandma has to go out.  We are trying to contact the Hospice people to give him his pain meds since he has a living will not to be put on life support we can’t take him to the hospital.  Right now extending his life would not be a kindness so everyone is just trying to make it easier on grandma.

My whole family is coming together to help and I feel like a failure because I can’t help my grandmother, I can’t watch him because I can’t move him if he falls,  all I can do is offer to run errands.

I feel bad about planning my wedding when this is happening but she says not to stop, that she would be very very upset if we did put it off.

It does not help that my mom makes me feel bad about “so many parties” and that “no one in our family has gone so out for a wedding.”

We are having 4 events:
An engagement/bachelor-bachelorette-anniversary-shower party all rolled up into one at a restaurant and other than buying a cake for the party we are not really spending a lot of money on this (mid March)
A small private marriage ceremony with dinner with immediate family- we had to get my drivers license renewed and order a Birth certificate then the Marriage license so that is about $100 and the family is paying for dinner(mid march)
A Handfasting/wedding with close friends and family- it is in my grandmother’s backyard, we are doing all the main dishes and having people bring the sides and desserts.. I am DIYing (do it yourself) pretty much everything from invites to decorations (late April)
A larger potluck BBQ for all our friends and family-we are buying some food, some pop and the reservation for the park was a gift from Alex’s aunt Viv (early May)

Maybe it seems like a lot because it is all in a two month period but I went to the wedding sites… OH MY GOD, people have up to a dozen events spread over a year or more not to mention formal weddings with 200+ people that cost $10,000 PLUS and they go into debt for them.
The only difference is we are having 5 different parties rolled into one, some people have engagement parties a year in advance (some even had 2 or 3 for families or for friends or even traveled to have them), bridal showers (sometimes more than one)  Separate Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties and many of them have the marriage ceremony separate from the actual wedding (in some cases a REALLY long time before the big party)  I mean more power to them we just didn’t end up doing it that way.

Alex does NOT think I am going over board, I have actually cut many of our expenses/plans for the handfasting, the BBQ and even the all-in-one-party to the bone or damn close.  Like I wanted to decorate with Balloons, not happening, too damn much work and expense, I am doing pretty much everything DIY.

I had a note book full of plans, details of all the stuff we needed and wanted and were going to do, I have ripped out probably half of the pages and just tossed them along with the long list of things we “NEEDED” that it ends up we don’t need at ALL.

I am trying to get over my guilt about this, I feel that guilt is a waste of my time and effort and that it is actually horribly self centered of me but it is hard.

I see people on line ask strangers for prayers, I wont do this since I am not religious but I will ask anyone who knows me and considers me a friend on or off line to send some good thoughts our way and remember to live your life and love your friends and family as best you can.



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