There’s a reason why so many choose to symbolize loss with a tattoo.  When it comes to death, many of us try to forget, so that we can forget the pain … only to remember years later, that what we fought so hard to move past and “forget” is something we should really remember.

It’s an innate desire for humanity to remember what we can forget with symbols.  It’s an innate desire for us to remind others with symbols.

Like religious symbols, there’s a sense that when tattoos are used to remember the dead, those tattoos are holy … maybe even just as holy as religious symbols.  Memorial tattoos symbolize our heritage, our love, our loss in a way that we and others must remember what we too easily forget.

Zelda Williams will be reminded of her father with every handshake.  She writes, “I’ll always put my hand out to shake with a smile”


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