In a previous blog, I wrote about our grief support group leader. She was about my mother's age, which put her in her late 70's/early 80's if I could venture a guess. So I was kind of shocked when she asked one of the attendees to tell about his tattoo. My Mother was of a generation that didn't really approve of tattoos, and I just assumed that our leader probably felt the same way as Mom. How wrong I was and I came to admire the fact that she did ask people about their tattoos.
When asked about his tattoo, a young man shared that he had a tat of his girlfriend. When she died, he had a dark storm cloud, lightning and rain over the girl. It was a very powerful image! Someone else had ink that depicted a horse as that was what their loved one really enjoyed in life---horseback riding. And of course, there were often hearts, broken hearts and names for other tattoos.
One night, while eating out with friends, I noticed our waitress had a whole sentence tattooed on her inner left arm. So, like our support group leader, I asked about her tat. She paused, then she explained that her father had recently passed away, and this was his favorite saying, written in his own handwriting! She was glad that someone noticed and it gave her a chance to tell about him.
I don't always ask people about their ink art, but I almost always wonder about the tat. I have come to appreciate that tattoos are often a way to commemorate their loved one. And it gives a person the opportunity to tell the story of that person who died when they are asked about it. What a beautiful way to keep the memory!