A Reddit user turned to the community to ask if they were in the wrong for not wanting to name their daughter after her own sister, who had passed away at birth years ago.
Her Sister Passed Away Before She Was Born
The Original Poster (OP) shared that her parents had a daughter named Summer, who was born with cancer and passed away at the age of 5 weeks. Two years later, OP was born, and Summer’s memory remained very strong throughout their life.
Due to her parents’ heavy grief, OP’s relationship with them was complicated, and she didn’t receive great parenting.
Every year on Summer’s birthday and most of OP’s celebrations, their parents cried, and Summer was mentioned frequently.
At first, OP was interested in hearing more about Summer, but eventually, the constant mentions of her became suffocating and made them feel less important.
She Grew up In Her Sister’s Shadow
OP shared that when her parents met new people, they often mentioned Summer first and talked about her the most. For instance, if someone asked about OP’s grade or age, their parents would respond with comments such as “Summer would be in fourth grade” or “Summer would have been 13 today.”
During OP’s high school graduation celebration, she asked their parents not to mention Summer, which resulted in her parents getting angry with her for wanting to forget her.
OP took a break from her parents during college but later reconciled with them due to feeling guilty about the situation. OP got married to Cael last year, and they are currently expecting a daughter.
She’s Expecting Her First Daughter
During a conversation, OP’s parents suggested that they name their daughter Summer, and Cael immediately agreed without giving OP a chance to respond. When OP spoke to Cael about her doubts, he was surprised and ready to proceed with the name.
However, OP explained that she wanted their daughter to have her own name and not be burdened with the weight of the Summer, who never had the opportunity to grow up, which was all her grandparents ever talked about.
Although Cael understood, he urged OP to consider how loved their daughter would feel and reminded her that she had previously expressed her admiration for the name Summer.
Despite this, the name’s historical significance made OP hesitant to choose it.
Her Parents Want Her to Call Her Summer
OP informed their parents that they wanted their daughter to have a unique name, which made them cry, but they didn’t give any comments.
A few days later, OP’s parents and husband approached her with a list of reasons why she should name her daughter Summer, hoping to persuade her to change her mind. However, OP disagreed with the list, and an argument ensued.
OP asserted that their daughter deserved to have her own identity and live her life, while her parents and husband believed that Summer deserved to be honored.
Cael argued that their daughter could still have her own identity even if they named her Summer, which was not an uncommon name.
She Wants a Different Name
Meanwhile, OP’s parents urged them to consider what their sister would have wanted and reminded them of how much they loved and missed her every day.
OP broke down and she started to cry, stating that she did not want to name her daughter after a sister they never knew. Cael and OP’s parents believed that they were cruel to express their thoughts in such a manner.
What Redditors Said
Reddit users in this thread are overwhelmingly supporting OP’s decision not to name her daughter after her deceased sister. Many of them expressed concern over OP’s husband’s lack of support and her parents’ unhealthy grief and obsession with their deceased daughter.
They advise OP to set boundaries with her parents and husband and prioritize her daughter’s identity and emotional well-being. Some suggest that the parents may be using promises of inheritance to sway OP and that naming the child after the deceased sister may make the child feel like a replacement. Many users also recommend that the parents seek grief counseling.
What do you think? What would you do if you were OP?
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