Mention the word 'tattoo' and the first image that comes to mind may be the iconic 'Mother' tattoo. This is one of the original memorial tattoos. You might ask 'would your mother want you to have that tattoo?', but what would you think about a tattoo that a mother gets in memory of a baby who died at birth? Is that a trashy and reckless mutilation of skin, a touching gesture of remembrance, a careless gesture that will be regretted later, a meaningful reminder? Tattoos are no longer the taboo they once were. In the small town where I live, there are two tattoo parlors right next to one another, right across from our historic town hall; and they both seem to be busy all the time. More and more of all kinds of people are getting tattoos today, from grandmothers to politicians, and the tattoos are as varied as the people who get them.
A new twist on an old favorite by artist Phil Young of New Haven, CT
Memorial tattoos are, quite simply, tattoos that are made in memory of a loved one who has died. There are whole sections devoted to them on tattoo websites, and they show up on discussion boards and blogs by grieving mothers too. Whether they are a good idea or not, all kinds of people choose to memorialize a loved one permanently in this way. Here are some creative ways people have found to memorialize their loved ones with tattoos:
I was very touched by this design made on a mother's feet. I can imagine her thinking of her child with every step she takes through life.
This tattoo was made using the client's own handwriting in memory of a brother. The tattoo was done on the day of his tragic death. There are very few words here, but their choice and presentation convey a unique and very personal message.
This tattoo was made in memory of a miscarried child for blogger Heidi Reed. Can a permanent reminder of a fleeting life help a mother move forward? For the story behind it, visit http://candidchatter.wordpress.com/tag/memorial-tattoo/
This tattoo is a memorial to a father. The piece is based on a photo of his racing helmet. I hope that the funeral services held for this man were as personal and meaningful as the tattoo. -by artist Jeff Johnson of Newbury Park, CA
This tattoo was made in memory of the client's grandparents, from a tiny picture taken of them at Coney Island. It makes me think of a memory that has moved from the inside, out to the surface of this grandchild's body -another piece by tattoo artist Phil Young of New Haven, CT