Short, I lost my only sibling in a car accident a few years ago. My siblings first name is something I treasure and we thought about using it as a middle name for our baby. When we were talking to our inlaws about baby names, they flat out said ‘you can’t use that name… That’s our favorite name.’ I told them why it was important to me, and they said they understood.
Recently, my inlaws have come up with their baby names – and guess which name is on the top of their list?! My siblings name. They approached my partner and I and asked how I would feel if they used the name. I told them it would hurt me. I wanted to possibly use the name in honor of my only sibling who has passed. And even if I don’t end up using it, I don’t want them to use it. To them it’s just a name they like. To me it’s a memory of my best friend who left this world at 25 years old.
My partner is caught in the middle of this whole situation. Am I overreacting? I’ve been crying since they told me it was their top name. And they think I’m being selfish.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
The process of naming babies is an important one to most families. It’s a tradition in many, if not most families, to name their children after either a living or deceased loved one. The reason is that using the name serves a number of important functions. It’s a way to honor someone who is or was an important and loved member of the family. It’s also a way to remember the life of a relative who is no longer alive. Loved ones who are being honored are sometimes a parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunt and even a very dear friend.
Because this naming is such an emotional process it is not unusual, even a common practice, for a name to shared by many new borns. For example, if you use your sister’s name for you child, it is perfectly acceptable for another relative or inlaw to do the same. There is nothing lost by having more than one relative use a name. For example, my first name is Allan and I can report to you that there are many Allans in the family.
Think of this in a comforting way. Your inlaws are using the same name as that of your sister. Even if they are not using the name after your sister, it is still the same name and serves the same purpose.
My suggestion is that you use your sister’s name, either as a first or middle name and know and get comfort from how you are honoring the memory of your sister and how important that will be to your child. I have found that youngsters feel very good after they learn the importance of their name.
I am sorry that your sister has passe away. Use her name, that is my suggestion.
Best of Luck