Thursday, December 17, 2009

What's in a name?

Yesterday I came across a blog of a lady who lost her 6 day old baby at the beginning of December to an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.

The baby's name was Cora.

This is the 4th girl named Cora (counting mine) that has died that I've come across.  But I don't know anyone in real life - or online either - who has a daughter named Cora who has lived.  No, I don't think the name is cursed, but it is really frustrating to me.  And it's got me thinking a lot about Cora's named and why we named her what we did.

I was on the phone with Matt one evening, several months before we got engaged (though we HAD talked about getting married).  We were discussing genealogy.  Since my family has been LDS for what seems like forever (I have ancestors who were very early converts, and several who were pioneers), my recorded family history is extensive.  However, Matt's parents are converts, so it hasn't been something his family has been doing for a long time.  So he was telling me what he knew about his family, and told me about his great-grandmother Cora Phipps Cannady.

It was electric.  I said "Oh, that name is so pretty, I love it."
To which he responded "Well, maybe that's what we'll have to name our first girl."  Which made me smile because it meant that he was at least seriously thinking about marrying me.  lol  But I decided that yes, we did need to name our first girl Cora.  And, being me, I did a little research on the name.

Cora means "filled heart."

And then I went on the lookout for a middle name.  It's a family tradition in my family to have middle names start with R.  I was searching on this baby name website, when I stumbled upon Rei.  It's a Japanese name, meaning "gratitude" and it was perfect

Cora Rei means "heart full of gratitude."

I don't think I can really explain how excited I was when we confirmed she was a girl, and I realized I was going to get my Cora Rei.  I was so excited to be able to introduce her "and this is Cora," to sign her name on things, and teach her to write her name.  To call her in to dinner from the back yard.

In many ways, I mourn the loss of the name as much as I mourn the loss of my daughter.

I meant her name to teach her something, to be a reminder to her throughout her life.  I don't think I ever considered the impact that it would have on me.  I am forever grateful for my sweet angel girl, all that she taught me, and all that she still is teaching me.


  1. I love names with great meaning. I hope Cora filled your heart with gratitude that always continues. My daughters name (Eva Grace) means "life full of grace" to me (Eva means life and Grace obviously means grace). When we were trying to name Eli, I wanted a name that was meaningful again. Eli means several differnt things but I loved them all and I didn't realize what his name meant for him until after we lost him. It means "the Lord answers, my God, and acsention or lifted up."

  2. I know what you mean. As soon as we learned we were having a boy, we knew we wanted to name him after his daddy. His dad, granddad and great grandad have the same first name and different middle names. Now it breaks my heart because I will never get to call for my Little Russell!! And any hopes of someone carrying on my Hubby's name are gone.....

  3. I know of a Cora, a friend from my internship's sister is named that. But I really love her name and what it means. Your posts are always so beautiful Brittanie.

  4. Cora Rei. Her name has a beautiful meaning and it has such a lovely sound to it. xo