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Mom Demands Parents Remove Memorial For Late Niece Since She Gave Her Baby Same Name

grieving mother holding child's shoe
AntonioGuillem/Getty Images

The loss of a child is devastating for the entire family—parents and grandparents especially.

When a child dies, families usually want to keep the child’s memory alive. But what if a family member would rather the deceased child’s memory wasn’t so front and center?

A woman dealing with this situation with her sister turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

ProfileImaginary7706 asked:

“AITA for refusing to ask my parents to take down a memorial to my late daughter?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I (28, female) gave birth to twins 2 years ago. My babies were seemingly born healthy but before we could be discharged my daughter, Indie, suffered a seizure and never got to come home.”

“For 8 months she’d go from getting better to worse again. Until the day came where she would never get better again.”

“She slipped away peacefully in my arms and it’s something I will never forget. Our whole family were devastated by the loss of Indie.”

“My in-laws are crafty people and made a beautiful memorial frame for Indie. They kept one themselves and gave them to my husband and I and my parents.”

“My parents display theirs in the living room so everyone can see when they visit them. They also have candles directly under it. They light candles for the twins birthday and Indie’s anniversary.”

“My sister gave birth to her first child back in May, and she named her daughter Indie. I’ll confess that I have been unable to look at it as some beautiful tribute because it’s difficult to hear the name used for another little girl in the family other than my Indie.”

“But I have kept that to myself.”

“Now a few months on, my sister is bothered by the fact our parents kept Indie’s memorial up when her Indie will see it whenever she’s there.”

“She said it’s very morbid and seems gross to do to her daughter, who will grow up feeling very weird with her name on a memorial at her grandparents’ like that.”

“My parents told her she should have thought of that before she named her daughter Indie. My sister was like, ‘OP doesn’t own that name, and I should be allowed to use a name I love.'”

“When our parents didn’t give in to her demands, she came to me. She told me it bothers her, and she knows it will bother her daughter in years to come.”

“She wanted me to tell our parents to take down the memorial. I refused to entertain her idea.”

“She pushed, and I told her I did not want my daughter’s memory tucked away forever. My sister yelled and told me that my Indie is gone, and there’s a living, breathing Indie who deserves to feel comfortable at her grandparents’ house.

“I told my sister to get the f’k out of my face.”

“My sister said I was a total a-hole for putting the memory of Indie before her Indie. She also said it will only confuse my son in the future when his twin’s tribute becomes messed up in his only maternal cousin.”

“She said I might not like that she used the name Indie, but she is not changing her daughter’s name for me, and I should have the decency to care about her child.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I refused to ask my parents to take down a memorial to my daughter when my sister asked me to do this. The only reason I am entertaining this whole thing that I’m wrong is because of my niece.”

“My sister already made things uncomfortable by naming her after my late daughter. I know seeing that memorial at her grandparents’ house might negatively impact my niece, so maybe I should be thinking of her more.”

The OP was left to wonder,


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors unanimously agreed the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA. I’m so sorry for your immeasurable loss. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child.”

“I also can’t explain your and your parents’ position better than you have, but I’d like to add if naming her daughter Indie were a tribute to your child, your sister wouldn’t be making the ridiculous demand she’s currently making. She would tell her daughter about her beautiful namesake.”

“Additionally, your sister seems to be projecting her own feelings onto her daughter. Your niece will treat the memorial with the same attitude others do.”

“If it’s treated as a lovely tribute to a loved child, that’s how she’ll see it. But, if it’s treated as something frightening, that’s what your niece may feel.”

“Your sister holds much of the power in how her child views it. I hope she makes the right choice.” ~ General_Relative2838

“Seriously, all they have to do is say, ‘you have a cousin who is also named Indie who left us before you were born. This frame is here to help us remember her’.”

“Or whatever is an age-appropriate way to say that. She’ll be fine as long as she’s given the proper context.” ~ knitlikeaboss

“Absolutely NTA. She chose that name, knowing it was your daughter’s name.”

“Tribute or not, maybe she should have asked, knowing that your Indie passed away. Also, your parents were right: maybe consider the name she was giving her kid knowing that yours isn’t here and there’s a memorial for her.”

“She should just explain to her Indie what that memorial is for and how it honors your daughter and is a way to include her in their everyday life. If anything, I think it’s sweet.”

“How dare your sister make it about herself and her kid. She’s an AH.” ~ archetyping101

“Oh, it’s definitely not a tribute name. If it was, then the sister wouldn’t have any problems about having the memorial up, and she definitely wouldn’t say, ‘OP doesn’t own that name, and I should be allowed to use a name I love’.”

“Also, if it had been for a tribute and not to be vicious and hurt OP, she would have asked OP and used the name for a middle name.”

“The sister sounds like a narcissist who absolutely hates when she’s not the focus of attention, and she’s not above using her daughter for this.”

“I already feel bad for the daughter, and I really hope she doesn’t turn out to be like her mother. Oh, and NTA!” ~ crushed_dreams

“‘My parents told her she should have thought of that before she named her daughter Indie.'”

“This right here. NTA. Good on the parents for shutting down her BS.”

“Sister sounds pretty awful, I can only imagine what other sort of drama she surrounds herself with.” ~ ABeerAndABook

“I’m so happy to see parents like these! The sister sounds jealous of OP or the attention that Indie was and still is getting.”

“I might be reaching, but I feel like that was the reason she chose the name.” ~ Lorelaigilmoredanes

“I think sister named her kid this as the parents gave too much attention to OP, and now she wants to replace Indie with another one and wipe out the first one, so the focus will be on her.”

“What will actually happen is one day her daughter is going to realize she has the name of her dead cousin and her mother is not a nice person.” ~ alien_overlord_1001

“’My sister was like “OP doesn’t own that name, and I should be allowed to use a name I love.’”

“Is she aware she just made the case for your parents keeping the memorial up? She doesn’t own that name either.”

“The name was already an important one to you and your family. Your parents already had the memorial on display.”

“She created this situation herself. NTA. I’m so sorry for your loss, OP. Your sister is an AH both for naming her child Indie and for what she’s now saying.” ~ embopbopbopdoowop

“NTA. Your sister is a monster. Reassure her that your son won’t be confused because none of you will ever be around her and her family again, and then block her.”

“It is utterly despicable that she is trying to erase your daughter because she stole a name she should never have used.”

“There is literally no benefit to any member of your family to being in touch with someone who is capable of doing that.” ~ Cursd818

“You’re NTA.”

“Let’s face it- this isn’t about her child. It’s about her need to divert the attention being given to the memory of your child.” ~ Dittoheadforever

“It will bother her daughter in the years to come because her mom will make sure it does. Mom won’t say, ‘Here’s the story of your beautiful namesake’.”

“It would not shock me if this woman tells her kid, ‘It feels like Grandma and Grandpa love dead Indie more than you. Maybe you should ask them’.”

“She’ll use that kid as a blunt instrument of guilt because she doesn’t like the attention that the Indie who has passed receives, and it seems like a life quest for her to eradicate the memory of that Indie.”

“This will never, ever stop.” ~ prometheus59650

“NTA—it seems almost like your sister is trying to replace your daughter in the eyes of family members.”

“She did not name her daughter after your Indie in an honorable way; it is not a tribute to her, and she is making that clear.” ~ North_Cantaloupe_470

It sounds like the best thing for the OP to do has already been done by not giving in to her sister’s demands.

Whether the OP has a relationship with her sister and niece is up to her sister.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.