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by Abigail Van Buren

Planned Baby Name Renews Pain of Tragic Loss for Family

DEAR ABBY: I come from a small, close family. Last year, we suffered a devastating loss. My cousin and her two children were killed in a car accident. We have all been profoundly affected by this loss, especially my aunt and uncle.

Fast forward: Another cousin is pregnant with her second child. She wants to name her daughter "Daisy" because she wants all her children to have flower-themed names. "Daisy" is the name of one of the children who died. I, and others in the family, are upset by her decision because her reason for choosing the name has nothing to do with honoring our lost family member.

I understand no one "owns" a baby name, and she can choose whatever name she wants for any reason. But I am having trouble getting past the fact that I'll see this child at family gatherings and have to call her by my dead cousin's name for no reason other than it was a cute flower name.

My cousin is set on using this name despite family protests, and I can't help but foresee bitterness ahead for us when we've already dealt with so much. What, if anything, can we do to make this situation more positive? -- NAME GAME IN NEW YORK

DEAR NAME GAME: Your cousin appears to have the empathy of a garden snail. Did it occur to anyone in the family to suggest to her that there are other flower names besides Daisy -- Dalia, Daphne or even Desert Rose? (Her nickname could be "Desi," which is cute.) If you haven't, please do before the baby arrives. However, if she refuses to change her mind, it's time for you to start memorizing the Serenity Prayer.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Death