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From: Tengu_spam | #031 Still awful, you don't call Red "Ash" or Blue/Green "Gary" just because those are real... Wait is Ash a real name? I don't know a single person with the name outside of pokemon...
I've seen Ash as a shortening of Ashley, which is gender ambiguous. Maybe Ash's full name is Ashley.
Though the fear of death is a common one, the fear of life is a more rational one.