View Full Version : Opinions please-Grandmom dying

06-09-2004, 07:02 PM
I'm in a real dilemna! I've had a trip planned for my niece's birthday for almost a year. My grandmother has been battling cancer and is down to her last 48 hours according to the hospice nurse. I am supposed to fly to Disney Friday afternoon until Wednesday. Chances are, if I go, I will miss the viewing and funeral. I really want to be there, but this trip is a really big deal too. I have spent lots of time with my grandmother and I'm sure she'd tell me to go(if she could!). My dad has told me that I should keep the trip as planned. I'm still torn. I've called the airline and Disney. Disney was pretty good about the possibility of changing dates by a few days, but the airline would be quite costly. Going another time really isn't an option because I teach and my neice has other vacation plans and work plans for the summer. What do you think? I'm just looking for other opinions.:confused:

06-09-2004, 07:08 PM
I'm sorry for your loss.

I couldn't stand the guilt if I didn't go to my grandmother's funeral to pay my final respects. Sorry, that is just my opinion, and I do love Disney! But sometimes, other things take precedence.

06-09-2004, 07:10 PM
Very sorry about your grandmother. I know you said your grandma would want you to go, but you really need to think this through. You only have one chance to do the right thing, which in my opinion would be to stay and attend your grandmother's funeral. Personally, I think you will always be proud of yourself that you sacrificed the trip to attend the services.

Hopefully, you and your niece will be able to find another time to do WDW. You probably wouldn't have the best time anyway. Even though you are prepared for your grandma's death, when it happens, you won't be in the mood for Disney.

Just my two cents, of course.

06-09-2004, 07:18 PM
I have another take on this. About a year and a half ago 2 of my sisters and their daughters had plans for their WDW trip. Just before they left, our grandfather passed away. My Mom "excused" my sisters and the grandkids as she knew that Grampa would have wanted them to go. I say - check with your parent whose Mom it is and feel them out. If they are fine with you going - go without feeling guilty. I'm a believer that life is for the living and your grandmother would not have a problem with you going. If you've said your "good-bye".............Just my opinion.

06-09-2004, 07:20 PM
I was in a similar situation a couple months ago, my grandma dying of cancer, us having a disney trip planned. She passed before our trip came around. But I was struggling just like you; I knew she would want me to go and I spent a lot of time with her. Talk to Hospice, they are wonderful counselors! I'm not sure I would have felt closure if I wouldn't have been at the funeral.

06-09-2004, 07:21 PM
Can you go and enjoy the trip knowing this is going on at home? There's a chance that the hospice nurse is wrong. Wouldn't your family be willing to postpone the services until you return? Sorry you are having this dilemma:(

06-09-2004, 07:27 PM
Hi Chefmb - I am so sorry about your grandmother. My grandma died when I was 15 and I am now 50 but I still think about her often. You need to look deep into your heart - If you have said your good byes and you do not think that you will be sorry later that you were not at the services, go and have a good time. Life is for the living and your not attending a service does not mean that you love your grandmother any less. However, if you think that you may have regrets later then you want to think very seriously about the trip because you can't undo your choice. My prayers are with you and your family. If you decide that you and your niece should take the trip, have a wonderful time as you know your grandmother would want you to do. PS I see you live in MD. My DH and I drive from PA instead of flying. If airfare is the prob would driving be an alternative if Disney is willing to change the dates?

06-09-2004, 07:31 PM
I to am sorry for the loss you are about to bare. I have been through something like this. here is my story...

My DH and I had planned a big trip for April of 2003. We had everything paid for and on Valentines Day, my Mother passed away. This came as a total shock to me even though she was very ill for a long time. the odd thing about death is that it just doesnt hit you right away, it doesnt seem "real". About a month after my Mom passed, it hit me like a rock and i finally gave into my grief. My DH suggested that we postpone our trip because it prob wouldnt be any fun if i was crying the whole trip. so i made all of the arangements to get our money back. ( and that was fun, let me tell you... i had to tell why i was cancelling my trip over and over ) anyway, to make a long story short we replanned our trip in June . we got the 7 for 4 deal and we took my dad who was also grieving at the loss of my mother ( they had been married for 35 years. ) We all still missed my Mom, but i have good memories of a trip with my father that i would have missed out on had we gone in April.

so my advice to you is to do what your heart tells you. i never got to say goodby to my mom, and it still bothers me that i didnt. there's a good chance that disney isnt going anywhere. my guess is that you already know the answer to you quesion.

good luck and god bless.

MrsJ Henry
06-09-2004, 08:00 PM
I think this is actually a very interesting question that really makes you think.
I have always felt that funerals etc. are for the living. It's a time to say goodbye and be around others who are also feeling bad.
It's to help us cope with what is going on.

How long is your trip to Disney? Many people in our family have waited a week for our services due to getting people home etc.
Is there a chance that could happen?

Personally I don't think I would be able to have a good time.
I would do everything I could to change the flight .. maybe cancel and call to see if I could get a better last minute deal with another airline.
Talk with Disney and see if you could just postpone to an even later date.

I don't know the answer but I think I would look into a lot of options.

I would also want to be there for my parents. This must be such a hard time for them right now.
Good luck.. I know this is a very hard situation. I'm also very sorry for your loss.

06-09-2004, 08:14 PM
My personal opition is this:

I believe a funeral is ONE way to say goodbye. However it is not the only way. Most people would not want to get in the way of others happiness. The only one you need to be there for would be your mom or dad (whichever's parent is passing). Talk to your parents and see how they are with your going or your staying. However the final decision is yours to make.

06-09-2004, 08:39 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. I just got off the phone with my other grandmother (I wanted to talk with her about everything), who also knows and loves my grandmother who is passing. We had a good talk. I know a lot of people have mentioned that my parent's opinion would be most important. That would be my dad (his mom is passing). Actually, he has a very strong opinion that we should go on the trip. We have a very close family and strong support network.

Anyway, I think unless something happens before we are scheduled to leave, we will probably go as planned, knowing that we will probably leave a day or so early to make it home for the funeral. I know that the planning is all taken care of, and family will be around and taking care of things. Actually, I think my most important time to help will be after the funeral when things settle down and everyone else's lives are back to normal. That is when my dad and aunt will need me most. (We lost my mom almost four years ago. That is why I haven't mentioned her in the opinions.--I guess that's another reason I know I will be needed more in a week or two than in the next few days.)

Feel free to keep the opinions coming. I know it is a very emotional issue. I know some people think I must be heartless for even considering going, but please don't judge too harshly!

As far as rescheduling, unless we wait a year, the only thing we could do is a few days, and at this point, I don't even know if that would make any difference. I might make changes only to be in the same position. Driving also is not an option. It would add at least 3 days to the trip.

06-09-2004, 08:53 PM
Hi Chefmb - Please know that I did not judge you. Enjoy your trip - if your grandmother is anything like mine - I know that is exactly what she would want - for you and your niece to enjoy the trip and remember the good times you and your grandmother spent together. God bless you!

06-09-2004, 08:57 PM
ChefMB - My personal opinion is that you are doing the right thing. As long as you've spoke to your family, and cleared your conscience - afterall - you know your family, and their needs better than any of us -----

I only wanted to point out that, in the event that you have to come back early from your trip- make sure you tell the airlines that it is for your Grandma's funeral - they may be able to waive the change fees (I had something similar happen years ago - and after I provided them with the funeral parlor info so they could verify (while I was on hold))(But that was years ago, and the airlines change their rules all of the time - can't hurt to ask).

06-09-2004, 08:58 PM
I think when the time comes you'll know the answer; only at that point can you make the decision. If she is still alive when your time to go to WDW comes, then go. If she dies when you are gone, I can't imagine why the service can't wait until you are come back - you are going for a short period of time.

Years ago, my Dad was visiting his father in Norway. His father was on his deathbed so my Dad called my Mom to fly over and bring a black dress. My mother was their for two weeks and only wore that black dress to a wedding. No sooner had she flown home than my grandfather died. We know when death is close, but we can't predict it down to the hour or even day.

WDW LifeLong Fan
06-09-2004, 09:08 PM
Sorry for your pending loss.

Only you can make this decision.

06-09-2004, 09:38 PM
Just another angle...

My bosses mother was given like 2 weeks to live...she had 24 hour care and hospice...the whole works. My boss always joked that she had her black dress pressed and waiting for the phone call! Well the 2 weeks turned into a month...and so on. Even when they gave her 24 hours it took almost a week for her body to give in.

I hope you are able to go and enjoy your trip if that is what you decide on. There is a possibility that you may have to return home early, but I guess that is the chance you take.

06-09-2004, 09:50 PM
Don't count on the airline giving anyone a price break. My grandmother died in 2002 and my aunt (who lives in Daytona Beach) had to pay almost $1000 for a ticket. She got only a small reduction in fare with verification from the funeral home.

06-09-2004, 09:51 PM
I feel so bad for you! Who cares what other people think?! You know your Grandmother and what she would want so go with that. If she is not talking anymore that is the hardest and not a way you want to remember her-she wouldn't want you sitting there and staring at her crying. The last time I went to see my Grandma was the day before she died and she was in a coma basically. I said my goodbyes to her then and didn't plan to come back-I know she would have wanted it that way. But I'm pretty sure there were people who thought I should have been at a vigil at her bedside. I can't stress enough how helpful it was to talk to Hospice and pray!!

06-09-2004, 09:55 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother!

But, only you can make this choice.

Go with your "gut" feeling.... because that is God talking to you.::yes::

06-09-2004, 10:41 PM
Sorry you are in a position to have to make this decision. I was in just about the same position last October. I had plans to take my DD to MNSSHP. We got news that my Grandma would not be with us much longer. I too called Disney to see what my options were. My parents said to go on the trip, but I knew that ultimately I had to make the decision, based on how I would feel after the fact. I had decided that I had to attend the funeral and was prepared to cancel my trip. My Grandma passed 2 weeks before we were to go, so we were able to do both. My relatives did hold off on the funeral for a few days as we were coming to Iowa from Atlanta. Your trip is relatively short, so possibly arrangements can be made that if something happens the funeral can be after your return. Good luck with your decision. Only you can make it.

06-09-2004, 11:53 PM
All I want to say to you is may God bless you and your family. You do what your heart tells you to do. I'm not in a posistion to judge you because I don't know your situation. This is a tough enough time for you right now. My grandmother passed away last summer and I know what you're going through. If you do go, I hope that you enjoy your trip. Try to think of happier times. That's what your grandmother would want for you. I'm sure she would only want your happiness. I also agree that you will probably be needed more after everyone has left and reality starts to set in.
With God's blessings, Renee

06-10-2004, 07:21 AM
All of my grandparents have passed away while we were on a vacation. Of course, my parents left immediately, but my siblings and I arrived the day of the funerals. Then we would go back to our vacation. It usually involved 8 or 9 hours of driving in one day.

We loved our grandparents dearly but they would have wanted us to go on with our lives. They all had long illnesses. I believe funerals are a celebration of a loved one's life. Not a time for sadness.

Doctors told my family to make arrangements for my father's funeral and he lived another 13 months. I'm sure hospice is more accurate but it could be longer than a few days.

Good luck and God bless,


06-10-2004, 11:24 AM
I couldn't be in the MK while my parents and other relatives were at the funeral. The purpose of being there isn't just to mourn the dead but to help comfort the family. No matter what they say your parent's may need your support.

People do delay funerals a few day so out of town family has time to fly in. You might try to have the funeral scheduled for Wed or Thursday. Obviously not the same but Regan's funeral was delayed almost a week.

If you have to fly back a day early I'd just show up in the airport and try to fly standby. A gate attendant may waive the rules.

06-10-2004, 12:41 PM
My grandfather died while we were at WDW several years ago. We knew that he was sick, but he told me he wanted us to go. I don't regret going. I knew that is where we wanted us.

06-10-2004, 12:43 PM
WDW will always be here.

Let your conscience be your guide!!

06-10-2004, 01:39 PM
Im so sorry about your grandmother.
I know how you feel though. We were in a similar situation 2 years ago with my FIL. In the end he went 2 weeks before the trip so it worked out. We thought we were going to be in the same situation again this summer with my MIL, and we even came up with a back up plan... DH would have had to come home and I would have stayed with the kids and my mother. However she just passed away Tuesday and we still have 5 weeks until our trip.
IMO, Im sure your grandmother wouldnt want you to ruin your trip and would understand. However if you feel you need to be there, then you should. Prayers & Pixie Dust on the way!

06-10-2004, 03:01 PM
<font color=seagreen>I went through a similiar decision eight years ago when my Grandma passed away. My Mom had been caring for her and took her mother's death very hard. I called Mom and told her that I could get only two days off from work (high season) to come for the funeral or I would buy her a plane ticket for her to come stay with us for a few weeks after the funeral was all over and everyone had left. She jumped at the chance to come have some pampering and attention. My sister (who lived in the same state) went to the funeral and was there for the day before and after. When everyone left, Mom hopped on the plane to get away for awhile.

She was happy to have someone making her meals for a change and she needed to have company as reality set in.

To this day, I don't have any guilt about missing my grandma's funeral. The reason to go, is to comfort those who are left IMO. I miss grandma and am glad I got a chance to say goodbye when she was still alive.

Best wishes on your decision. Every person is so individual and handles things differently. </font>

06-10-2004, 04:11 PM
First of all, sorry to hear about your grandmother.

Another similar situation. My grandmother was ill last May when my brother and his family had their vacation to Disney World planned. They were fighting the same problem you are now. At the time my grandmother was in the hospital and wasn't expected to live much longer. After much consideration, my brother and his family decided to go on to Disney and if worse came to worse, they'd have to come home for the funeral. Things worked out in their favor. My grandmother didn't pass away until December.

I think you can't put your life on hold. Go on and take your trip as planned. If the worse happens then you can make your decision as to come home earlier than planned. You never know what will happen and you never know when. It may be later in your vacation.

Good luck and try to have fun!!!! God Bless!!!

06-10-2004, 04:22 PM
It depends on your family.
Mine for example is not a big funeral family.

When my Grandad passed away it was XMAS and my brother and his wife were in Dallas with two small kids. My mother did NOT want their XMAS messed up and forbid my brother to come to the funeral (which was small and quick, no viewing!) I however, HAD to attend to be my Mom's support (I am much better at this this then my brother!)

I realize that not all families are this way and some people do need the closure that a funeral provides.

No matter what you do, my thoughts are with you!

06-10-2004, 05:12 PM
It sounds like your dad would be more upset if you DIDN'T go on your trip. I know that's how my dad is too. Hopefully before you leave, you can tend to your family and get some closure. I would say to follow your heart. Everyone grieves differently. If you don't feel it necessary for your own peace of mind to attend the funeral, then that's what is best for you. My thoughts are with you and your family.