Unsolicited Advice – Memorial Tattoos

There is a recent trend in tattoos to get memorial tattoos done immediately upon someone’s death. I have attended too many funerals over the last couple of years that involved mourners showing one another their memorial tattoos while at the service.

This seems to occur much more frequently when the death was sudden and unexpected.

I will give you the same piece of advice that I give everyone on memorial tattoos.
Wait.
Plain and simple. It is very normal in the grieving process (especially in the case of a violent death) to want to do something. To be able to somehow respond to the wild torrent of feelings that you are experiencing.
What happens if you get that tattoo now is that instead of celebrating your friend’s life and tattooing a beautiful memory of him or her – you forever remind yourself of how you are feeling right now. It becomes a memorial of  their death instead of their life. Give yourself time. Wait. Wait until when you think of them – you think of the beauty and the times that you shared. I usually suggest waiting at least a year. Then, if the tattoo still has the same appeal to you – go ahead and get it tattooed. So that you can forever remember the bond that you had and the time that you shared together…. not the pain and loss that you are going through right now.

And when you get that tattoo… again, get something that reminds you of the person and their life. Something that they loved. Something that you shared together. Something that always makes you think of them. It doesn’t matter if that is a chocolate chip cookie, a blue jay or a game controller. The tattoo is for you. Put the name on there if you would like. Put the dates if you think you need some help remembering them. Otherwise they really aren’t necessary. Don’t get a cross with “In Loving Memory” if the person only went to church for weddings and funerals. Do get a cross (or a rosary) if it means something to you (or meant a lot to them).

Do not ask your tattoo artist to decide for you what represents this person to you. (See previous post)

Memorial and tribute tattoos should be just that. A tribute to the person, their life and their impact on you. Don’t worry about it if other people don’t “get it”.  Make sure that the person you are memorializing would have.

~ by justteejay on July 6, 2010.

One Response to “Unsolicited Advice – Memorial Tattoos”

  1. This is soooo true

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