Editor’s Note: Thanks to Meg for sharing her story.  It is heartbreaking and uplifting all at once, and emphasizes that names, at their best, truly are powerful stories.

This is the story of my two children’s names. When my husband and I were expecting our first child, a boy, we had no issues picking out his name. We named him Benjamin Atticus.

Unfortunately my little Benjamin was stillborn. The heartache was unbearable. Three months later we were expecting our second child together, a little girl. This time we had a horrible time agreeing on a name. Nothing seemed to fit.

When I was 7 months pregnant, my husband passed away quite suddenly.  We still hadn’t decided on a name at the time of his passing. I was so lost and alone. Sitting in the hospital hooked to machines on the day he died I laughed and jokingly said I should call her Reubina. (My husband’s name was Reuben.)

My best friend was with me and said “It’s perfect! we can call her Ruby for short!”

Reubina “Ruby” Alys was born on August 21, 2009. She has the same initials as her father and is the spitting image of him.

A few months after Ruby was born I realized something even more special about my children’s names. The first three letters of each name spell out my husband’s name: REUbina and BENjamin. This was completely unintentional but just goes to show that my children were definitely supposed to be named Benjamin and Reubina.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. That is heartbreaking…thanks for sharing the wonderful way you honored your husband. I had a Grandmother Rubeine who was named for an uncle. Her first name was actually Dorothy, but she loved the name Rubeine and exclusively went by that. I think it’s lovely, and Ruby is a great nn!

  2. What a wonderful story. I think Reubina is gorgeous.

    I am so sorry for your losses. My mother also lost a child and a husband very close apart (my father and sister).

  3. What a heartbreaking story, but I am sure your daughter will be delighted to share her name with her father and the connection she will have with her brother. Lovely names!

  4. I love how Ruby is named after her dad – I think that will be something she always treasures. And I hadn’t realized the RUE BEN tie before, but I think that’s beautiful. Lovely names.

  5. Thank you for your story. I am so sorry for the losses you have experienced. Your children were given beautiful names, and are a wonderful tribute to your late husband.

  6. Thanks you so much for sharing your story. My hearts aches reading about your losses. I’m happy that you were blessed with a girl to carry on her father’s name. I love that you named her Reubina (Ruby)!!!