Man's 'Unsettling' Request Baby Named After Dead Wife and Child Sparks Fury

A pregnant woman has been praised online for being honest with her husband by saying she did not want to name their new baby after the wife and daughter he tragically lost nearly a decade ago.

Everyone deals with grief in different ways and while it is important to find a way to live on through the loss, remembering and celebrating the lives of those loved ones is a crucial part of the process. As Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, a licensed psychologist, explained, this can take a variety of forms.

"It may be that you decide to collect donations to a favorite charity of the deceased, passing on a family name to a baby or planting a garden in memory," she told the American Psychological Association. "What you choose is up to you, as long as it allows you to honor that unique relationship in a way that feels right to you."

One expectant dad, however, appears to have taken the concept to the extreme in an attempt at honoring the memory of the wife and child in tragic circumstances.

Unfortunately for him, his second wife objected to his extreme plan with many online speaking out in support of her opposition to the idea.

According to the expectant mom, who shared her story to Reddit under the handle Icy-Project3837 in a post that has earned over 12,000 upvotes, her husband John's first wife Isabel died 9 years ago in a car accident that also claimed the life of his unborn child, Rose.

"John wasn't in the accident, but he blamed himself for their deaths since he was working and couldn't get time off to drive Isabel," she wrote. "Obviously this was very traumatic and he had to go to therapy for a long time to recover. He still talks about Isabel sometimes and has pictures of her in the house."

Five months ago, she discovered she was pregnant with a girl. Since then they have been "throwing baby name suggestions around" without settling on one.

Then, out of the blue, he announced that he "finally knew" what to call her: "Isabel as a first name and Rose as a middle name." His wife admitted she was "taken aback for obvious reasons" by his suggestion especially as he had "never mentioned" wanting to honor them in this way.

"I told him I wasn't comfortable naming our child Isabel Rose since it would feel like we were trying to replace them," she said. "He kept trying to convince me and said that it would be like his late family could live again through our daughter, but I just want our daughter to be her own person."

She said John lashed out at her for voicing her concerns and accused her of trying to act like his first wife and unborn child "never existed." Though she insisted this "wasn't true" and there were other ways theft could "remember them" with their daughter he insisted this was "the best way" to do it.

He branded her a "hypocrite" as she had suggested using her sister's name as a middle name and accused her of being "disrespectful of the dead."

In the meantime, the family of John's late wife, Isabel has started sending Facebook messages "begging" her to name their daughter after Isabel.

But while friends and family have urged her to go easy on him as he is still "grieving" many on social media still felt that, regardless of her husband's fragile mental state and the pleas of others, she is right to reject his name idea.

TheLastLibrairian1 said: "Your daughter is a child not a memorial to the dead" with BeeCJohnson writing: "this whole situation is trauma city. For dad, for mom, for the kid. Just name her something else."

Potential_Speech_703 felt the whole idea was "very unhealthy" and that while the family of her husband's late first wife "need to heal" his new wife's baby "is not theirs and not for their healing."

Gnarled_Gnat branded the proposal "very unsettling."

Worldly_Science, meanwhile, felt it was clear that the husband still needed urgent help to address his issues before the baby arrived. "It's not on you or your soon to be infant daughter to be a crutch," they said. "Your baby is NOT a replacement or a substitute and he needs to learn how to deal with that!"

Aylauria concurred, commenting: "it seems like he's going to need to sort some stuff out with his psyche in order to be a better father. Otherwise, he could be really inappropriate, trying to turn your child into a mini-Isabel."

Popular-Beginning-70 added: "This is still your child, not Isabel's...Don't back down in the name choice. This is your child too."

Newsweek has reached out to Icy-Project3837 for comment.

An upset pregnant woman and man.
A grieving husband's baby name suggestion has sparked debate online. A stock image of a upset pregnant woman and man. Prostock-Studio/Getty