To be upset by this.

(69 Posts)
mootime Wed 17-Jul-13 10:17:13

Ok, so I know I probably am, but its a raw subject so please be gentle on me.

We lost our first son 4 years ago, due a birth accident at a home birth. It was as you can imagine the most horrendous experience of my entire life. However I had no idea how the pain could be magnified as the years went by, largely due to unexpected encounters or thoughtlessness by other people.

Just under a year later I gave birth to my second son and in a lot of peoples eyes I should then have been "better". Obviously he gave us joy and hope that we never thought we would feel again, but no matter what happens, our first son is and will always be a huge part of our lives.

Slightly later that month, in the week between ds1 birthday and anniversary of death, my Brother in law's (Hubby's sisters husband), brother and wife had a baby at home and they called him the same, fairly unusual name, as our DS. We were not told this until about 6 months later as everyone knew that it would cause upset. Its not that I feel like I own the name, but more that my neice and nephew has a cousin called that and they now have another one, who is alive and will therefore be far more dominant in their conciousness as the person with that name.

I made it very clear as did my DH that we found this not only extraordinarily cruel but that we really didn't want to be around them. Apparently they said that they didnt think that they would ever see us anyway so couldn't see the problem.

Fast forward 3 years and we have largely avoided any mention of the. However it is our nephews birthday soon and we have just been told that they are going to come.

My first reaction is that with every part of my body that I do not want to go, that I have nothing to say to them that isn't unpleasant, and tbh I dont want to cause a scene (and I'm not sure i will be able to control myself). However DS2 is really looking forward to the party and it seems really unfair to stop him from going because of this.

I would send my dh with ds2 and dd but frankly, I don't want them to go without me.

Please be gentle. Am I being totally unreasonable? WWYD?

AlexMcLitty Wed 17-Jul-13 11:25:44

You are being U but can totally understand why if that makes sense. I am so sorry for the loss of your son x

mootime Wed 17-Jul-13 11:42:35

Thank you.
Just to clarify, their son was born a year after mine and they did know about the death of ours. It was also mentioned that the name was quite important to us ( it was my lovely GD name who died while I was pregnant) I'd always know that my first son would have that name as I loved my GD so much. Apparently the only two names they liked were the names of babies who had died hmm and they saw the other people more often. I have met them before and they are a bit odd, but they clearly did this knowing that it would cause upset which also adds to the difficulty.

I think that I will go and just try and remain calm. I have a freind who lives nearby and so I've just sent her a message asking if I could meet her for a coffee. That way I have an excuse to leave for the majority of it.

I do know that it must sound a bit mental, but its odd how something just really bring out the grief and anger of the earlier days, and this is one of them. Maybe it will help in a small way to get the first meeting over with.

springytoto Wed 17-Jul-13 11:50:54

I really, really wouldn't go. You can't guarantee they are not going to add insult to injury - they are ignorant enough. I wouldn't put it past them to initiate defending their decision.

I'm a bit confused about GD - what is GD? Grandad?

Mama1980 Wed 17-Jul-13 12:00:09

I'm so sorry for your loss.
In the gentlest way you are being a little unreasonable but no one blames you for that nor can they tell you how to grieve but maybe it would help you to go? If not I would send you dh and ds2 and do something nice for yourself that day.
Again im so sorry for the loss of your boy xxx

GingerJulep Wed 17-Jul-13 12:26:48

OP, as others have said this isn't really about your late DS. It is just a name. A few letters making a word that allows us to distinguish who we are talking to.

And if it was about your late DS, well, you did exactly the same thing in naming him after you GD and I assume nobody in your family thought that was in anyway a problem.

I think the 'coffee with friend' idea is great and should allow you to 'do the right thing' wrt family/DS2 enjoying the party but also remove some of the pressure.

I currently have an issue with what to call my bump as the two names OH and I liked are 'taken' (one by a relative, one by a close family friend) which I'd be prepared to ignore - but OH is keen to avoid conflict. So, it maybe he'd have given you a different view on your original question too!

Good luck

springytoto Wed 17-Jul-13 12:37:07

Perhaps you could ask people in SANDS what they think mootime . I'm wondering if it's only people who have lost a child who can get how you feel about this. (I haven't but my twin lost her baby soon after birth.)

My twin also had the name-nicking thing, but her BIL/SIL took the name of the subsequent child only weeks before she was born (they were expecting at the same time). It caused incredible hurt for my sister. There is no way in a million years she would have been able to bear the name of the son she lost being given to another child in the family.

mootime Wed 17-Jul-13 12:57:01

Thanks Springtoto.
I know that the people on SANDs will say to do what I feel able. If I'm honest the reason I asked here is to gauge the reaction from people who hasn't lost a child largely. I am aware that I'm often looked at as though I should be over it by now and MN is quite good to gauge if I'm being semi rational or just plain mental!

I think it's very different to name a child after a Grandparent who had a long, fulfilled life. In fact he knew that our son was going to have his name and was really thrilled. All of my hope and dreams for my son died with him and the name wasn't given to honor or in memory of him. It was simply given ignoring him. Maybe that's why hurts the most.

Oh moo I'm so sorry for your loss. Having read your last update I'm now swinging to yanbu. If they knew how much the name meant and they had no personal connection with it (like one of their relatives) then that is a crass thing to do. However I feel your anger may be a little misguided, and should firmly be at your SIL and husbands feet. Surely SIL will have been saddened by the loss of her nephew so you would have thought she may have respectfully asked them not to use that name unless there was another connection to it, which to me makes it seem more crass but then SIL was party to not telling you either.

I know you've said you are thinking of going but I would honestly question how you are going to feel when you hear that child being called by your ds's name. If it is going to cause that much hurt then don't go. Your DH needs to ask that question of himself too. I get that people say its for the niece and nephew but I can't see how having an aunt and uncle at a party devastated will be any goof for them either.

catus Wed 17-Jul-13 13:56:41

Yanbu. From your updates, they knew they would cause you hurt and sadness (to put it mildly) so I really think they should have chosen another name. My advice is don't go to that party, don't add to the hurt you're already feeling. As for your DH and child, I don't know. Talk with Dh, see what you both think. I'm so sorry for your loss.

valiumredhead Wed 17-Jul-13 15:06:53

What a shitty situationsad xxx

SuperStrength Wed 17-Jul-13 15:09:12

I'm sorry for your loss.
I think the anger you feel over your sons death is mis-directed at this family.
Although you are suffering the most unbelievable pain through your grief, you are also causing pain to another family.
In years to come, maybe 10, it might be nice to come across a child who shares a name with your son. I believe the dead are alive to us through our memories of them. Life events that remind us of loved ones who have died, once grieving is less painful, are good things. They live again for a few minutes through our thoughts of them.
What happened to you is terrible, but you have no right to be unkind to them in anyway. You will upset the parents & possibly the child. Think of the harm you could do. Your pain will not be lessened by taking it out on them. For their sake, you shouldn't go.

mootime Wed 17-Jul-13 15:11:57

Superstrength. How have I been unkind to them?

SuperStrength Wed 17-Jul-13 15:14:23

You said

I have nothing to say to them that isn't unpleasant

Noideaatall Wed 17-Jul-13 15:15:43

4 years is no time at all, I know just how you feel as similar happened to me 11 years ago & things still set me off now. Do whatever you need to that will help you. I think they were really U to use the name tbh. maybe dh & ds2 could go? but only if you feel ok about it - what if ds2 comes home talking about the child with the name? might be v painful.

mootime Wed 17-Jul-13 15:21:31

But I've not said anything to them so I've not been unkind. I'm trying to decide what to do that is best for me and my family. To be honest, they have apparently shown no understanding of the pain that they have caused us, and are presumably unaware that they have been kept away from us to this point. I really don't think that I am bring unkind to them at all. If I go it will be with a brave face through the pain (something you get used to in these circumstances). I wouldn't risk going if I really thought that I couldn't control myself.

I also believe that the dead live through our memories of them and we keep our ds very much part of our family.
However I doubt that meeting the boy in question will at any point remind be pleasant, as it will remind me of their (at the very least) unthinking behaviour).

I was actually thinking that I may not go, but not for them, simply because this time, with the grief added to pregnancy hormones it might just upset me further.

maja00 Wed 17-Jul-13 15:29:08

I think you should avoid the party if it will be difficult for you.

However, these people are barely related to you. I don't even know the names of my cousins' other cousins. They probably thought (rightly) that they would almost never see you so the name wouldn't be an issue.

Kat101 Wed 17-Jul-13 15:32:18

Lower your expectations of them understanding. Some people naturally have more empathy than others and it sounds like they are very unaware of the impact of infant loss on parents. They just don't get it, and that's probably not unreasonable. I didn't get it before either, I would've ignorantly assumed that it was a nice memorial.

Go for 10 minutes, then leave for your friend plus coffee. You can't change them. But you sound strong, and facing up to it might help you to put it to bed a little.

springytoto Wed 17-Jul-13 23:05:40

I really can't agree with anything you've said superstrength . You're making the OP out to be the unreasonable one here when that really isn't the case and is far from the truth.

I am just so concerned about you going to this party, moo . I really don't think you're ready. You may never be ready - but why put yourself in this position? What for? It's only one party, just leave it. If ds wants to go, can he go with another family member? DH may also find it too difficult to go and meet these awful people.

What concerns me is not just that you feel very vulnerable but that these people are ignorant. I am very concerned they will say something stupid, or behave in a way that is just unbearable for you.

I have a friend whose son would now be 35 if he'd lived. There are some situations she still can't face. I really do think that's ok. Our culture is full of 'move on' and 'let it go'. There are some things you can never 'let go' and shouldn't be expected to imo. It is unreasonable to expect a beginning, a middle and an end to some things, as if there is 'closure' of some sort at some stage. imo on some level there is never 'closure' about something like this. I'm not talking about being stuck in grief but that some pain never goes and it's inhuman to expect to 'put it behind you'.

I also couldn't give a monkeys what people think of you and how you are managing your grief. What's it got to do with anybody else? This is your grief, your journey. If people generally don't understand then that's too bad on them. It's nobody's business but yours.

Please don't expose yourself to this awful couple. I can't see the good in it or what it would achieve.

Bumpotato Wed 17-Jul-13 23:46:41

What they did was cunty. If it will ruin your day and bring back all the hurt being in the same vicinity as them, don't go.

Sorry for your loss.

McGeeDiNozzo Thu 18-Jul-13 03:47:46

This is really hard.

What you have been through is awful and this was a bad reminder of that.

But really, these people are certainly not close family and maybe only <just> extended family, and they're not close enough to you to have factored you in - or to have been duty bound to factor you in - to their decision-making about baby names. And clearly they didn't factor you in.

Having said that, I don't think I can say "Just grin and bear it, you'll be fine". You may well not be fine, and YANBU not to be fine.

So I think you're within your rights not to go. If there is another way of getting DS2 there then go for it, but if I were in your position I wouldn't put myself through it.

BaldHedgehog Thu 18-Jul-13 04:06:05

Brother in law's (Hubby's sisters husband), brother and wife had a baby at home and they called him the same, fairly unusual name, as our DS.We were not told this until about 6 months later as everyone knew that it would cause upset

Apparently the only two names they liked were the names of babies who had died

I made it very clear as did my DH that we found this not only extraordinarily cruel but that we really didn't want to be around them. Apparently they said that they didnt think that they would ever see us anyway so couldn't see the problem

YANBU OP.^^let them not see you then,nor your family.Name is the name but the circumstances here (unusual name and timing).Cruel,thoughtless and tactless people.

BaldHedgehog Thu 18-Jul-13 04:07:18

And sorry for your loss sad flowers

MaMattoo Thu 18-Jul-13 05:15:37

Sorry for your loss..it takes a long time. What shocks me is that you are the third person I now know who has had this happen. And I can't understand how people can be so insensitive.
A close friend of mine went through the same thing. Though it hurts her to call out another child by the name of her first born, who is no longer with us, she has chosen to embrace the child yet she has not forgiven the parents for choosing the same name..and she never will.
It also happened to my mum.

YANBU at all. It hurts as I have seen closely, don't go. You don't have to. Let your other half go with your little one. Why our yourself through it..now, perhaps the pain won't be as sharp some years from now, but three years is too little time..go easy on yourself!
Take care!!

littlewhitebag Thu 18-Jul-13 06:36:29

I also have lost a child. When a friend had a baby a few years later and called her the same name I was thrilled that she also liked the name as much as I did. I actually fail to understand why this name thing is an issue. Be glad there is another baby xyz carrying your special name into the future.

whois Thu 18-Jul-13 08:41:39

They have done nothing wrong, it's such a distant connection that it shouldn't impact on you and unfortunately you don't own the name.

However it's not U to be upset, as long as you recognise that it's your problem.

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