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Pregnant Mom Called Out By Grieving Parents For Wanting To Name Baby After Her Late Brother

Mom and baby boy having fun

Usually, when a newborn is being named after a close loved one it’s seen as an honor.

In fact, some families and friends have been known to squabble over who gets to use certain names that honor certain people.

So that’s why it can be confusing when there is harsh pushback to the gesture.

Life can get tricky when grief is involved.

Naming a new person after a deceased person may bring up a lot of unresolved pain.

Case in point…

Redditor Capital_Dot_1632 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback, so she came to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subreddit.

She asked:

“WIBTA if I named my baby after my late brother?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Throwaway. I (29 F[emale]) am expecting my second child (first boy) with my husband (30 M[ale]).”

“When we found out it was a boy, I immediately knew that I wanted to name him after my brother, let’s say ‘Noah,’ whom I loved very much and was very close to growing up.”

“He passed away in a car accident when I was 17 (he was almost 21).”

“My husband likes the name as well and has always been on board with us naming a son, if we ever had one, after my brother.”

“However, this past weekend, when I told my parents I was planning on naming our baby ‘Noah,’ they got very upset and told me that I couldn’t.”

“They told me that it would be disrespectful to Noah’s memory and would be like ‘replacing him’ with a new member of our family named Noah.”

“They also said it’d be painful for them to always hear the name and be reminded that my brother isn’t here anymore.”

“I was disappointed, because in my mind I thought of it as a way to honor my brother, and I’ve wanted to do this for a while.”

“But I agreed since I do see how, for my parents, it could be painful.”

“I told my husband, and he didn’t really get the whole ‘replacing’ thing and was a bit miffed but agreed we could choose another name.”

“We decided that instead, we’d have Noah be our baby’s middle name.”

“However when I stopped by my parent’s house this afternoon and brought this up to them, asking them how they’d feel about it, they kind of flipped out again.”

“My mom accused me of just using this as a roundabout way to make our son’s name Noah, and that once he’s born we’re just gonna end up calling him that instead (we wouldn’t).”

“While my dad just got very angry and asked why we were so insistent on making things painful for them.”

“I had no idea how to respond since I’ve never really fought with my parents before, and I’ve honestly never seen them get that angry before— so I just apologized and said okay.”

“When I told my husband about this, he got pretty upset and said that my parents were being ridiculous and that I have every right to name my son after my brother if I want to.”

“He thinks we should just go ahead and make his middle name Noah.”

“My sister (23), who lives with my parents at the moment, got wind of the argument when she got home from work and texted me saying that our parents were being crazy and I should make our baby’s FIRST name Noah.”

“That our parents have no right to tell me what I can or can’t name my child.”

“I kind of disagree, mainly because I’m worried about the rift it would cause with my parents, and it seems crazy to ruin our relationship over a name.”

“Yet, at the same time, I don’t feel like I’m the unreasonable one here, so I don’t know.”

“So, what do people think?”

The OP was left to wonder:

“WIBTA if I made Noah his middle name? And I’m curious, even though I’ve already decided I’m not going to, WIBTA if it was his first name?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“Anger is a stage of grief.”

“Theirs is misplaced.”

“Most likely, they are going to love their grandchild and his name too.”

“I’d go with the middle name option.”

“Still honoring your brother, but giving your child his own identity.”

“Plus, then it isn’t the name your parents will hear every time you talk about your son.”

“You’re being reasonable.”

“Grieving people often aren’t.”

“Stop discussing it with them.”

“Name your child how you want and let it play out. NTA.” ~ EconomyVoice7358

“Input from the mom-of-a-dead-kid grief trench: My son also died when he was 20, 14 years ago.”

“My daughters couldn’t handle naming their children his name but my niece asked if she could do so, and I agreed.”

“Not gonna lie—it has been EXTREMELY hard hearing his name all the time, while he himself has become invisible.”

“Hard to explain, but it’s weird and very hard like he disappeared again.”

“Anyway—I think using your brother’s name as a middle name is beautiful.”

“I wish I’d suggested that to my niece.” ~ Teeceereesee

“I agree. NAH.”

“Using the name as a middle name is great. It’s a way of honoring OP’s brother and his memory.”

“But as someone who has kids, if one of them passed away (knock on wood and pray to god) I would definitely be reminded every time I saw that child’s name anywhere.”

“I understand OP’s parents completely.”

“The middle name thing is MORE than a fair compromise, and also means that no one in your family would have to be involved in constant, multiple-times-per-day reminders of your enormous loss.” ~ Cascadeis

“NTA for sure, but I don’t believe your parents are the a-holes either… like, at all.”

“People don’t always get the privilege of ‘resolving’ their grief.”

“You (you seem like a wonderful person, by the way) and your sister must understand the unimaginable loss that would be your/her own child passing in such a sudden, violent manner.” ~ died_blond

“NAH… in my opinion.”

“Their response comes for the open wound.”

“OP could you come up with a name that relates to something representing your brother or something he liked?”

“I saw this in another post.”

“It’s a way to honor your brother without slicing open your parent’s wound every time they see their grandchild or speak about him.”

“So you ‘compromise.'”

“All the best whatever you decide, but keep in mind that if you do name your son Noah, they might not be able to bond with him due to the grief of losing your brother.” ~ Organic_Start_420

“NTA. They lost a son; there’s nothing more painful than to bury a child.”

“But you lost a brother.”

“So did your sister.”

“Your parents seem to have some unresolved grief issues here.”

“When my brother died, my mother wrote us all a letter saying there would be no memorial, no obituary, nothing. He was just on a long trip.”

“After a few days, she told us she realized that we were grieving too and she’d been selfish.”

“So some people just want to wipe out the memories so they don’t have to feel. But they’re just burying the pain and grief.”

“I don’t know what the answer is.”

“You know your parents better. Would it truly cause a lifelong rift?”

“Why would your mom accuse you of trying to deceive them?”

“What is the source of their anger?”

“When they see you’re serious, maybe they would come around?”

“I had my heart set on naming my first son after my grandfather.”

“Everyone hated the idea, except my husband and my grandmother.”

“And my brother, who is also named after my grandfather.”

“But I asked him first if he thought he might want to name HIS son if he had one after our grandfather.”

“his fiance said she hated that name and it wouldn’t happen. It didn’t.”

“But they were also divorced within 4 years. Off-topic.”

“NTA. Name your baby what makes you happy.”

“And I wish you all the best.” ~ cordelia1955

OP responded…

“I’m so sorry about your brother.”

“I do think my parents might have some unresolved grief issues.”

“My relationship with them, I guess, a bit weird?”

“It’s never been tumultuous or strained. They’ve always been financially supportive, at least, but they also aren’t particularly affectionate or emotive people most of the time.”

“Which is why their outburst startled me.”

“I don’t really know why my mom would think I’d deceive them with the middle name thing.”

Reddit continued…

“My whole family has middle names that are honoring other members of the family.”

“I continued it with my son, whose middle name is my father’s name.”

“I hope my son does the same, but if not, it’s not going to upset me.” ~ mj_mua

“We do this as well in our family. It’s common in Texas, not sure about other places, but here, lots of families take on middle names of those who have passed on, sometimes even for those that are still with us that we cherish the most.” ~ KarinaBoBina77

“My family too!”

“I have my great-grandmother’s name as my middle name and let me tell you it is super old-fashioned.”

“And I’ve yet to meet someone with that name, and it always got snickers in school, but I love it now and like to hyphen it with my first name, and it really grew on me!” ~ PeppaPig4545

“We did this with my son.”

“He is named for my husband’s dad as he died before he was born.”

“For my husband, it was a way of making his dad a part of the experience of having his child that he was getting in person.”

“So my son has his own first name and his Pop’s name for his middle name and loves the connection.”

“My M[other]-I[n]-L[aw] cried when she told (happy tears) and loved that we called him that.” ~ Scary_Ad_2862

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

It’s your baby, and you have no malicious intent.

Maybe all of you could do a little family counseling to help them process their grief before choosing a name.

Good luck and congratulations.