Another name change, this isn't the first?
That's right, a few years back I 'shifted the decimal point' of my name. You see, I was born with the name CG Morrell, but I moved the G from an other name to one of my family names, because it is a family name.
What are the new names?
My father's and my recently deceased friend's.
Why those names?
When I upgraded Godfree from a middle name to a family name, becoming Godfree-Morrell, it was to show my love, respect, and appreciation of everything my mum has done for me. Adding dad's and T's names to mine is intended to do the same thing.
You already carry your father's name - Morrell.
Yes and no. Morrell has always been my family name since birth, in one respect it is a gift from dad, but in another it is simply a continuation, for he was not any more a willing recipient of the name than I have been. Thus, to honour his memory requires an active choice. I keep Morrell, because it is who I am. I add his name because it is for him.
Will you add more names?
Perhaps, perhaps replacing or changing, although the latter two choices seem far less likely.
What is the criteria for choosing a name change? Why won't you end up with dozens of names?
Not one thing. Although perhaps a simple answer would be 'love'. As I mentioned before it comes from a desire to actively represent my love, respect, admiration, and ultimately my caring for those people in my life that have affected and influenced me so profoundly. One's own mum and dad seems obvious, obvious but overlooked. Although I have little respect for 'the family' or one's ancestors, that is, the continuation of a family name, it is by far the simplest and most immediate way to convey to others the love and respect I have for my parents. It is not a rash choice I make and it is not a slight impression they have made. I'm not adding the names (or changing the names) just because I like the sound of the names or find it amusing to alter my name (although, perhaps in part, all these are true). It's an expression of filial piety and loyalty.
Your friend is different however.
Yes, indeed, not family by blood but family by choice, or more poetically, one might say, "family by spirit." His influence on me was to rekindle my hope, my belief in goodness, that had always been tested and had begun to fade.
How will people know about this? I mean, only about five people are ever going to read this, so it's not that much of a profound expression, is it?
That's fine. I consider this to be 'name tattooing'. In a similar way to a tattoo with which one might mark a special person or event in their lives (or remembrance of such), my name tattoo is a changing of my permanent name to show my dedication to them. Also like a tattoo it remains mostly hidden, except from those people I share the information with personally (and utterly randomly and impersonally over the internet). For most people they simply see my name and imagine it as unusually long. Those people that know me see it as something else (perhaps). Indeed, a stranger seeing a tattoo without knowledge of its importance to the bearer might draw all sorts of negative conclusions and I suppose that's possible with me also (pretentiousness for one).
Really, this is just another example of you thinking too much about things, about what people mean to you and about your devotion to death.