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Using child's name for relatives baby

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My 3 year old son drowned 35 years ago. My brother's son has fathered a child. We learned from a baby shower announcement that they are naming the child the same name as my lost child. I am  so hurt that they would pick this name without asking if or how this might affect me and my children.  I would have told them that I would prefer they pick a different. ....that  it hurts my heart to even hear children I don't know who are called by my son's name.  My son, who was present as a 5 year old at the drowning is beside himself with anger  at the insensitivity and thoughtlessness.  It feels like they forgot that we ever had my beautiful son as part of their family. My question is am I overreacting?  I don't feel I can be around people who have acted so callously. Has anyone had a similar experience? What did you do.  This is causing a great divide in my family.

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My dear, I have indeed had a similar experience in my family. Many years ago, our second baby boy died three days after he was born, following what we thought was a normal pregnancy and C-section delivery. We later adopted a second son, and together we raised two wonderful boys. Many years later, it happened that our second son and his beautiful wife (whom I loved dearly) were still struggling (after ten years of trying) with the pain that comes with infertility. Still, he and his wife had always told us that, if it was okay with us, they wanted to name their first boy (if that ever came to pass) after our baby who had died. I was honored by their request, and considered that to be a beautiful way to honor and remember our son who had died. Then our eldest son got married. Barely a month after the wedding, he and his wife were pregnant. Aside from tolerating the mixture of joy I felt for them and the pain I felt for our second son and his wife, who still remained childless, I was absolutely floored when, the day her baby was born, my relatively new daughter-in-law announced that the baby's name was to be the name of our baby who had died. This was without any prior discussion with me, with my husband, or with our second son and his wife. I cannot begin to describe the mixture of feelings I had at the time ~ but what was I to do? What choices did I have, since the decision had been made, and the baby's name was already on his birth certificate? After some serious soul-searching and coming to terms with all the feelings I had, in the interest of preserving family peace and harmony, I decided to follow what is expressed so beautifully in the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Three years later our second son and his wife adopted a darling baby boy whom they named after my husband. So now we have in our family two precious grandsons: one named after our baby who died, and the other named after his grandfather. I love both of them, to the moon and back. 

I would not presume to tell you what to do in your situation, my dear. But you asked whether anyone has had a similar experience, and I've shared with you my own. Whatever you decide to do, the choice is yours. But I believe with all my heart that if you decide to have peace and harmony in your family, you will find a way to make it happen ~ and sometimes things really do work out for the best.

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My dear, Marty has given you the most beautiful answer.  I think, being as the name is in the planning stage and not on the birth certificate (in other words, it can still be changed), I would talk to them about how it makes me feel, and how it makes your son feel also, realizing that the final decision is up to them and there's nothing you can do to change it.  It is up to you to choose whether it causes a rift in the family over it or not.  If you try to choose, like Marty did, the Serenity Prayer as your guide, I'm sure it'll help you in your healing.  Choosing to hold anger for others is always back-handed in it's swoop, so even though understandable, I hope you will proceed prayerfully and thoughtfully.

I am very sorry for your loss.  No matter how much time goes by, we never forget, do we.

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