May 2012 Weddings
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Update...(sorry, long)

As most of you probably read in my last post, my (future) brother-in-law passed away on Sunday unexpectedly.  (FI's sister's husband).  Both FBIL and FSIL were supposed to be BM/GM in our wedding.  FI and I left our house and drove down there (3 hours away) immediately after we got the phone call.  I've never seen FI cry before, and I knew before he even got off the phone with his mom that something terrible must have happened.  FI didn't cry when his ill grandfather passed away (at least not in front of me) so I knew that it was going to be awful news.

FBIL, FSIL, and their daughter were in their truck on their way to FBIL's parents house, where they go every Sunday.  They were driving country roads, and at an intersection their vehicle was struck by another vehicle crossing their path.  Their truck rolled several times and FBIL was ejected and killed instantly.  FSIL and our niece survived with minor scratching/bruises/glass cutes.  FSIL recounted how she crawled out of the vehicle and over to FBIL, who was nonresponsive.  She was tried to stop the bleeding from a cut in his neck, but we were told that he was most likely already gone even at that point.  FBIL's mom somehow found out about the accident (small town) and showed up on the accident scene before they could remove her son.

Yesterday FBiL's mom invited FSILs side of immediate family over to her house (we all drove from OOT).  The funeral director came to the house to help plan arrangements.  I'd never sat in on a meeting like that before (as I suspect most of us haven't), but it was awful - we talked about everything from information for the obituary to picking a photo, picking clothes for him to wear, picking caskets, picking a plot, picking out a gurdian for their daughter if something ever happens to her....he had brought FBIL's wallet & cell phone from the coroner.  FBIL's mom called it right away just to hear his voice on the outgoing voicemail message.  Needless to say it was a very difficult day.  The wake & the funeral are this Thursday/Friday, so now we're just in the waiting phase.

I just feel terrible for FSIL.  It's obvious that she is still in shock over the entire thing, but there are moments of clarity where she can wrap her head around what has happened and she just seems so lost.  Their daughter is turning 1 next weekend.  They just found out last week that she is pregnant with their second baby.  They got married at the courthouse last year, but were planning a one year anniversary party for July since they hadn't been able to celebrate formally with everyone.

We weren't there for more than an hour when she told us that we needed to get life insurance if we didn't already have it (we do) because her husband was only in the process of getting it - so he has no life insurance.  They were struggling already with both of them paying their mortgage, and she already knows she is going to have to sell her house because she can't afford it alone, especially now that she'll have to pay for her own medical insurance.  Luckily we found out yesterday that the car insurance they had will pay for the funeral & has a small death benefit, which is a blessing since a simple funeral costs $10,000+.  But now she still has to sell a house that she owes more money on than it is worth.

I haven't even begun to really think about how this is going to affect the wedding...I feel guilty even SAYING that when he isn't even in the ground yet.  FSIL asked me yesterday about cancelling FBIL's tux.  I've had the programs done for a month or two, but had a weird feeling about ordering them so early, so I put it off.  I ordered them an hour before we got the phone call.  At this point I know I want to do something in remembrance of him at the wedding, but I'm not sure what.  This probably goes without being said but we couldn't even think of replacing him.  I just told FSIL not to worry at all about the wedding, I would make any arrangements that need to be made and that if she didn't feel up to still standing up that we would support her decision either way.

Anyways, sorry this is so long...I guess if you take anything away from this, is that you never know when your time is up and how important it is to make arrangements for your loved ones after you are gone.  I just saw FBIL 3 weeks ago at one of my showers.  He was talking about how much he was looking forward to the wedding, and joking about keeping his long hair & winter beard for it.

Having life insurance is so important - buying a term policy is cheap & easy, even if it only a small policy to cover final costs (funeral, etc.).  For those of you who have children, it is important to designate a gurdian in the event that both parents pass away.  The funeral director told a story about 2 parents who had passed away in a small plane crash - they had a will, but did not designate any guardians.  Their 2 children had 2 sets of grandparents who were able and willing to take them, but the decision was legally up to the courts, who made the children wards of the state.  The grandparents didn't get those kids until they were 18 years old.  A lot of people assume that next of kin would get the children, but unless it is designated specifically it is up to the courts, and you never know what they will do.

I'm sure I'll be asking for your guys' advice in the next few weeks on what to do, wedding-wise...but at this point we're just focusing on family & saying our final goodbyes.  If you've made it this far, thanks for reading....his obituary can be viewed here: http://www.knappfuneralhomes.com/dustin-j-nichols-30-onarga-il/
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