I was going to propose to my girlfriend on Valentine's Day, but her mom is close to death...what should I do?

Her mom has been fighting cancer for about 10 years now, and is close to the end of the fight. It's gotten out of hand, and she started to go downhill faster last week. She went back into the hospital a few days ago, and they told her they've now exhausted all treatment options, and they have given her 6 months or less to live. My girlfriend used to work in a nursing home as a CNA and has seen a lot of cases like this, and her grandfather died of cancer as well, and she said her mom is like what many are when they only have a couple weeks. Then today she said the way she is, she's not even sure she'll make it through the weekend.

She's been spending a lot of time an hour and a half away at her parents' house, so I've not been seeing much of her recently. She came home today because she's missed a lot of work recently because of this, and she needed to talk with them to get a plan set for time off and stuff, but she will be heading back to her parents' pretty soon (no later than tomorrow night). That obviously messes up any kind of plans for Valentine's Day.

I scheduled flowers to be delivered, but obviously she won't be home to get them, so I figured I would get them, and take her gifts and the flowers to her parents' and give her those to maybe brighten her day. However, I also was planning on proposing to her on Valentine's day, so now I'm stuck with no idea what to do.

I want it to be her special time, but with her mom in this condition I know her head is not clear right now, and it would take away from what should be an otherwise happy time. However, if I wait, then her mom will pass never having known we got engaged, having never seen the ring or anything. I'm kind of old fashioned and already spoke with her parents and asked for their blessing to ask her to marry me, so they know it's coming, but still the time hasn't come when I've asked her. If I were to do it on Valentine's Day, it would end up being in her parents' home, and her mom would probably actually get to see me ask her and see the ring, but at the same time she's in such bad shape she may not realize what's going on because my girlfriend said she has trouble even remembering what happened only a couple hours before.

So, should I wait and let my girlfriend have her special day with no distractions? Or should I ask her and let her mom see we are going to be getting married? I have no idea which way to go right now.

Updates:
Those who say ask her mom - I thought of that, however her mom is quite out of it. I've been following updates from the family, and she had some family visit her today, and she did not even know they were there.


I think I'm going to propose anyway, however do it semi-private. Ask her outside to help bring some stuff in, and do it outside so she can still have her moment, but immediately after go inside and show her mom (if she's awake and coherent).


What are your thoughts about that?
My girlfriend got a call at about 4 AM from her dad. They couldn't wake her mom, she wasn't responding to anything, and was making a weird noise. She left to go there, and I told her to give me any updates, but I've not received any. I looked on Facebook and from what I can tell, she hasn't passed yet, but they do not believe she will make it through the day. If her condition has gone down so fast, and she might not make it until I am able to get there, I might have to rethink all this...again.
I called her to let her know I was going to be coming soon, and I learned her mom passed this morning. Definitely not the time for a proposal. If only there were a few more days or weeks. Thanks everyone for your input.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Tell her mother you are going to propose to your girlfriend.

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What Girls Said 10

  • I would talk to her mother alone and tell her your intentions with her daughter. I am not one for traditions but in this case I think for a women who won't get to be there for her daughters wedding it might be a nice token, to be involve and previewed to the proposal. I would let her know and then ask her daughter, so she can tell her and have some memory of her mother knowing she will be married and know that she got to meet her future husband. Good luck.

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    • This ^

      that's best for both her mother's peace of mind and for the daughter's comfort. Knowing her mother knew would be a very powerful comfort

  • I say go and ask her mum what she thinks. I'm sure she'll be happy with you proposing her. But if you have the opinion and blessing of her mother beforehand it'll be good :)

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  • Definitely still do it. Give her mom a little joy before she passes on. Otherwise your girlfriend may regret not being able to share the news with her mom before she passes.

    It will be difficult, but I can guarantee that if you wait until after it happens there will be regret.

    Good luck and God bless to her mom.

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  • I say propose to her anyway, and the reality is, her mom is sick, God bless her. But she needs to not forget about her own life and she needs to find a balance. Good luck :)

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  • Sad story. I really feel bad about this situation :(. I think it is a good idea if you propose to her on Valentine's Day because her mother will see it and maybe she will feel happy that her daughter found the love of her life and she knows that you will take care of her and stuff. But I think you should listen to your heart, you know it better than all of us.I wish you good luck and may God bless you all ( you,her, her Mother and family).

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  • Ask for her mothers blessing and propose then. That way her mother can enjoy the sight of seeing her daughter getting married before passing on.

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    • I asked for her parents' blessing months ago, before she got to this condition. This was a very rapid decline, and difficult to have planned for as far as when to do things.

  • If you are on good terms with her mother, ask her.

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  • I would wait, she's going through so much right now. The timing jujust isn't right

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  • Mom is too out of it to give a good opinion. I would ask her father how he feels about it. He should have the best perspective as to how both his wife and his daughter would feel about it. That is certainly tricky ground, sorry to hear of this.

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  • I would wait

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  • I think you should ask her. Let her know you'll always be there for her in difficult times like this. I think it would really cheer her up, and I'm sure her mother would love to know her daughter will be safe and protected by a man she loves.

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What Guys Said 7

  • Ask her in front of her dying mother. You have no idea of the enormity of the gift you would be giving to your future wife and her mother.

    "We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will."

    --Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

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    • The Update plan is a good one. You could even consider rushing the marriage and having it right in her bedroom. A formal wedding could always be planned in the months ahead.

  • I don't know you or your girlfriend but I feel strongly that you should just ask how she wants to handle it. I'm presuming this isn't going to be a huge surprise that you're proposing. She knows all the history and I feel like you should trust her guidance.

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  • So far I like the 2 girls answers.

    I have mixed emotions. Her Mother will go out happy, which probably counts the most BUT will your girlfriend always remember Valentines day in a way that her mother was close to death the time she got engaged?

    Can you ask her mother what she thinks?

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    • It's still a bittersweet moment.

      I'm still afraid that she'll remember that day & her mother dying. That's going to go through her head anyway every Valentines.

  • I would agree with the person who said you should talk to her mother. Given she likes you too, that would surely be touching for her to know that you are going to marry her daughter. In that case I'd try to arrange to be at her parents' place before she arrives and propose in front of her mother. Make it clear why you marry her: You love her and you want to take care of her (especially the last part can really lighten her mother's day).

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    • Sorry to hear. Being around for her and the others is the only thing you can do now, the proposal has to wait. Don't struggle with words where there are none, just be there for her and the rest of the family as much as you can.

      Our thoughts and prayers are with you

  • Unless her mother hates you, I'd go forward.

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  • Be cautious. She might just want to spend time with her family and have no distractions. If you propose you might be seen as selfish. See how her mom feels about it.

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