What’s in a Name?

Many things. Feelings, emotions, sentiments, memories… the entire lives sometimes of others. 

I was named for my uncle. My father’s younger brother, who passed away before I was born. I should have been another Herbert, in a long line of Herberts. But as my parents were choosing a name for their second child, they said ‘If it’s a boy, what about David?’

What about David? David died in his twenties. As a young child, I remember being told that he had been sick, but wouldn’t get help. And it always saddened me that if my uncle had just gone to the hospital before it was too late, he would have been ok. 

I found out much later that my uncle committed suicide. And the name took on a whole new significance. What did my grandparents think when they spoke to me? And my aunts and uncles, who had all grown up or spent time with David? How does one disassociate from a name? For don’t we all lump everyone with the same name together? These are the Matthews in my life, here are the Alisons, and over there are all the Nates. A case which, if true, would associate my name forever with tragedy. 

I’ve grown into my name. I’m happy with it. It’s like I have the chance to be the legacy of somebody who was unable to leave any another legacy. And it means that despite all the heartache, all the sadness surrounding my uncle’s departure, well, part of him lives on. Part of him still lives and loves and keeps calm…

And carries on. 


Daily Prompt: Name That… You!


6 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Name That … You! | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Name that… You! | Alastair's Blog

  3. Pingback: The illegal name | Life is great

  4. Haha I would write something based on this prompt if I hadn’t already written a small segment in my previous post regarding names! Relevant section here:
    ” In a way if I ballooned in failure perhaps a success to scale story might take place, but that is as much my choice as it is not, because the man who will fail and the man who will not is both I, going by the name of Jon, Nathan, Jonathan, Cheong-Ting, Garshnuckle. These names are all the same person yet Jon is the name of a kind boy and Nathan the ideal sufferer, Cheong-Ting was my skin in Canada where all was just peachy, and Garshnuckle is the skilled barbarian, destructive, angry, but learning without teacher.”

    The barbarian part is a bit forced… but meh. By the way, tomorrow night, next 1200 words going your way, though I really don’t know how this critiquing system is going to work. I promise though that once I’m back from Seoul (I’m going to Bluesweet again) I’ll get onto finishing the first 5k words.

    • A skilled barbarian… why not?

      Hope Seoul was a blast! I’ve got a bit of a lull coming up, waiting to hear about the hockey blogging position and only one other deadline, so will get back on the fiction!

  5. Pingback: Daily Prompt – Name that . . .you! | Joe's Musings

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