I posted an entry at my other joint today about how we chose Mia's name, and then got an email from my mom saying that the name Amelia had been "quite a shockeroo" because she and my dad had assumed we would name her Anne Elizabeth. I wrote back asking where on earth she got that idea. I mean Elizabeth I get, but Anne? It seemed an odd name to just pull out of the ether and then be positive about. Her response was simply the full name of my childhood friend Anne who was brutally murdered while we were in college. (I hate to put it that way, but it is the only accurate description of what happened to her.)
Oh yes, I thought, clearly. That would have been a really obvious choice. It was never on the radar. In fact, I had sort of forgotten about it. I mean, not forgotten, but it is just a sort of sad and mild memory at this point, something I think about rarely, almost never, in fact, actually never unless something else leads me to it. And god, it was so bad, for years it was bad, and I am a little shocked that it is so... nothing... now.
Mia's middle name did come, at least in part, from a friend who died a couple of years ago (of natural causes, if heart failure at 25 can be called "natural"). Apart from my family, he was the one person in my life I could not bear to lose. He was a close friend, the closest I had had in a long time. There were times in the days and weeks after he died when I would be sitting at my desk or lying in bed and believe that I would never find the strength to stand up again. I felt that something critical had gone from the world, something integral to the continued rotation on the planet, and that sure, I would probably go on to have a perfectly lovely life, but that I would never be truly, fully happy ever again.
And I still miss him, sometimes terribly, but mostly just once in a while and then only casually. A couple of days ago, I made a joke about him to Chris. Not even a joke about him, a joke about him being dead. (It was more appropriate than it sounds, but would take more than I am willing to tell to explain.) It shocked me for a minute, to realize I had made that joke, to realize that this crushing thing, this death, really had lost it's sting.
It made me worry, so I wanted to ask you. Anne died (holy shit) ten years ago, Mia's namesake almost five - is this normal? Normal that it doesn't hurt me anymore, normal that I'm not sad about it anymore? It seems like this sort of thing, these tragic, senseless, far too young deaths should feel like nails in my spine forever. But... they don't, not anymore. Is that just how it goes?