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Calling a baby the same name as a friend who died?

(14 Posts)
detergenthands Fri 14-Mar-14 09:51:20

DH and I knew someone who we met at university who was a unique and interesting person that we both liked and admired. DH was one of his closest friends when they were younger.

This friend married but died in his mid thirties due to an aggressive cancer. They had no children.

We are still in touch sporadically with his widow.

DH wants to call DS2 after this guy - although it is not a totally unusual name (but not that popular nowadays) and we liked the name anyway as it goes with our other children's names.

It isn't a total gesture towards the friend but more of a kind of nod of the head to the past and the character of the person in question, as well as liking the name.

Is that weird, will people think it is odd? Is there some taboo about naming a child in such circumstances?

For reference, it's a name that is not uncommon among our age group (late 30s, 40ish), but it not so much seen these days.

MrsHerculePoirot Fri 14-Mar-14 09:52:43

I think it is a lovely idea. Could you talk to his widow and let her know what you are thinking, I should imagine she would be very touched, but might like to know before the big announcement?

MissMilbanke Fri 14-Mar-14 09:53:58

Not weird at all.

In fact just the opposite. Its a lovely idea

shakinstevenslovechild Fri 14-Mar-14 09:54:11

I would ask his widow first and be led by her thoughts.

If she would find it too upsetting you could have it as a middle name maybe?

Twitterqueen Fri 14-Mar-14 09:54:33

Not odd at all.
I think it's lovely thing to do.

I gave one of my DDs a middle name very similar to that of my sister who died very young because I wanted to acknowledge her without being morbid about it. And to have gentle reminders every now and then that my sister existed.

Don't worry about other people's opinions. They won't know unless you tell them

JollyMarie79 Fri 14-Mar-14 09:58:34

It's lovely.
I'm naming my dc after my grandparents who are sadly no longer here. I know it's slightly different as they are family but it's the same sentiment.
envy

EasterHoliday Fri 14-Mar-14 10:01:14

I'm named after my mother's friend who died of cancer. Similarly, a rather unfashionable name for when it was given to me...

Dovahkiin Fri 14-Mar-14 10:01:38

Agree with the posters above - ask his widow how she would feel about it. It's a lovely thought but I remember talking to someone who was devastated that his daughter had named their child after his dead wife.

meditrina Fri 14-Mar-14 10:05:23

I don't think it's weird. Yes, you might want to run it past his widow.

But to counterbalance Dovahkiin's experience, I know a family where the adult son died in an RTA and at least two of his friends named their DSes after him, and that was welcomed by the bereaved family.

YuccanLiederHorticulture Fri 14-Mar-14 10:19:49

It's not remotely weird, it's a brilliant thing to do.

detergenthands Fri 14-Mar-14 10:29:03

I agree that some contact with the widow is necessary but I don't think we have the kind of relationship with the widow where we would ask or run it by her beforehand. Plus it isn't such a unique name that for example our families or other friends would think twice about it. We keep in touch at Christmas and birthdays or if we are visiting her town (we have other friends there).

I was thinking of writing to her once the baby is born saying something along the lines of we've had another boy and we've decided to call him XXXX - we like the name and of course it means something to us because of your XXXX, but we didn't want to just have you find out through the grapevine in case you found it upsetting or emotional - but please know that it's been done with respect and love.

She's a pretty straightforward no nonsense and almost strangely unsentimental person and that approach would be appropriate with her I think.

shakinstevenslovechild Fri 14-Mar-14 10:40:00

I really do think the most kind thing to do would be to run it by her beforehand, not just announce it afterwards.

The chances are she will be absolutely fine and think it's a lovely gesture, however there is the chance that it could be very painful for her.

detergenthands Fri 14-Mar-14 11:25:01

Yes, perhaps you're right. I'll put some thought into how to word it then.

Thanks for the advice and input everyone.

YuccanLiederHorticulture Sat 15-Mar-14 06:02:46

Only a slight rewording of what you suggest to write to her afterwards would do the trick fine.

"I just wanted to be able to tell you this in advance rather than you finding out after the event through the grapevine. We're having another boy and we've decided to call him XXXX - we like the name and of course it means something to us because of your XXXX. We just wanted to tell you in advance in case you found it upsetting or emotional - but please know that it's being done with respect and love."

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