We weren’t sure we would name you.
We didn’t know about these things. We didn’t know when I went to the hospital that everything wouldn’t be okay. We didn’t know babies could die. We didn’t know they should be held, and named, and remembered.
We didn’t know you.
We didn’t even know you were a boy. Even as the second ultrasound confirmed your death, we didn’t want to know.
So we hadn’t given you a name. We had two picked out for you, a girl’s and a boy’s, and a nickname combination of the two that your mommy called you on an occasional silly night.
You were, to us, simply, Our Baby.
Then you were born, and we held you, featherlight. I could barely look at your bruised and purple face. We knew this was not you, you’d already gone. The dreams we had for you, gone. The names we had planned for you gone, too.
But you were our baby, and holding you, we knew we had to name you. A family name, like the others, one from both sides of your family tree. But one that no one living held. We couldn’t name our dead boy after anyone alive.
So we chose your name, Joseph. Never thinking that anyone would utter it again. Never thinking anyone would speak of you, remember you.
We didn’t know about these things. We didn’t know your death was not the end. We didn’t know your name should be whispered, written, shouted, sung.
We never dreamed you would become your name.
Did you name your baby or babies? How did you choose their names?