Tattoos In Times Of Grief

Published October 6, 2020
By Celebrity Ink

One of the best memorials you can give to a lost loved one is the permanence of a tattoo on your body. When someone leaves your life, grief can hit hard and yet for many, dedicating a tattoo in their memory can be the ultimate tribute.


Grief tattoos to commemorate COVID-19


While tattoo studios around the world have been forced to close their doors due to COVID-19, the question for many artists is whether we’ll see a spike in tattoo appointments once studios reopen.


As the past has proven, in times of tragedy, many have come out in force to have their bodies inked in solidarity.


After the devastation of 9-11, it is reported that many US-citizens headed to tattoo studios in order to remember those who lost their lives in the horrific act of terrorism. Some of the more popular tattoos included Eagles, the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, American flags and the names of loved ones.


A tattoo studio in downtown Manhattan, which has since shut shop, tattooed more than 1,000 people in the wake of the attacks, offering free tattoos to those who were grieving following the event.


With more than 346,000 deaths worldwide at last count, COVID-19 is certainly turning into one of the biggest crises the world has ever faced.


So will the tragedy see a rise in the number of tattoos dedicated to those who have lost their lives? Once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it will be interesting to see whether clients flock to tattoo studios to deal with the grief the pandemic has brought.

Remembering the fallen


For Steve Dixon, this is something he can relate to. After serving in the British Armed Forces for more than two decades, he decided to get a tattoo to remember his lost comrades. 


He lost many friends he fondly remembers as his brothers and sisters, both to suicide and during battle. In their memory, he got a tattoo of a lone soldier standing over a poppy field, remembering the lives lost. 


“They are a constant reminder of how lucky I am, in different ways. The tattoos are a permanent and personal memorial, and a testament to unbreakable bonds,” he says.


When his mother-in-law Kathy passed away a few years ago, he went back to the tattoo studio to get a fresh design. He says he was particularly close with Kathy and wanted a way to honour her memory. 


“I will remember Kathy’s soft words forever, which she spoke to me on the day she passed,” Steve says. “She said she knew (my wife) Lindsey had waited for me all of this time and she trusted that I was the one to look after her while she could not be around." 


He adds that both of the tattoos have helped him to process things in his own headspace, giving him a way of dealing with his grief without involving others. 


Dealing with grief in different ways


Everyone copes with grief differently, but there is one constant for many – when losing someone you love, you never forget them.


Memorial tattoos allow the wearer to have a permanent reminder of the family member or friend they’ve lost, inked onto their skin, keeping their memory close. The permanence of a tattoo can also provide comfort when they are struggling through their grief. 

Our artists handle every request with the sensitivity, respect and honour it deserves. We would be privileged to help you commemorate your loved one with a meaningful tattoo. Simply reach out to us here to chat more.

Get your next tattoo at Celebrity Ink

The team at Celebrity Ink can provide you with not only a tattoo that tells your story but also detailed aftercare information that goes beyond the question of how long does a tattoo take to heal.

Our team sets standards in tattoo design while working alongside you to bring your vision to life. Whether you’re seeking traditional tattoos, realistic designs, mandalas, or any other, we have artists specialising in a range of tattoo styles that can provide you with the tattoo you have envisioned.

Book a consultation to discuss your tattoo design, get in contact with the crew at Celebrity Ink, and we will lock you in for your next ink session.
Find a studio