Getting a memorial tattoo is surely a bittersweet moment. Memorial tattoos are done as a form of remembrance and commemoration of a loved one or someone close who has died. The tattoo cannot substitute or replace being with someone you love and care about. However, if they’ve passed, a memorial tattoo can be a great way to honor their life, their deeds and keep your love permanent and close by.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll tackle the possible design choices for a memorial tattoo. Hopefully, you’ll get inspired by some of our recommendations. So, without further ado, let’s get started with the discussion and some real-life tattoo design examples.
Memorial Tattoos – Explained
What Are Memorial Tattoos?
A memorial tattoo is a tattoo that honors a person who has died. Such a tattoo can serve as a way for a person to continue the relationship with the beloved one who has passed away and keep the memory of them close by. Memorial tattoos can differ from one person to the other. They can be done in different styles and sizes, or feature something peculiar or characteristic of the deceased person the tattoo memorializes.
Unfortunately, the stigma around memorial tattoos is present. Many think it’s ‘weird’ to get a memorial tattoo for a deceased person. Others think that memorial tattoos just perpetuate the pain and the feeling of what it’s like to lose a loved one.
Fortunately, there are studies that prove that people who get a memorial tattoo ensure one established an ongoing and everlasting connection and communication with the deceased person. Such a tattoo can also provide peace and acceptance, and ensure the person feels safe and protected by the memorial tattoo.
Whatever we may think about memorial tattoos, one thing is certain; they’re a beautiful and creative way of keeping the memory of a loved one alive and well.
Why Do People Get Memorial Tattoos?
A research investigating the psychology behind memorial tattoos has tackled the question of why people decide to get such tattoos. Here’s what the research found out;
People get memorial tattoos for the following reasons;
- To remember the deceased or loved one
- To honor and pay tribute to the deceased or loved one
- To establish a permanent connection with the deceased
- To heal and accept what happened
- To overcome the feeling of numbness and sadness
- To replace emotional pain with physical pain
- To regain control in life
- To have a constant reminder of death
How Do Memorial Tattoos Look Like?
Memorial tattoos are unique and done in such a manner that they honor and pay tribute to a deceased person by depicting them or something related to them.
However, the majority of memorial tattoos are done in a traditional portrait style. They sometimes feature flowers (generally roses), birthstones, a symbolic mark, a zodiac sign, angel wings, or a date of birth and death.
Another characteristic element of a memorial tattoo is the italic lettering. Such lettering symbolizes that the tattoo is a memorial tattoo and that the person depicted has passed away. In some cases, the tattoo is accompanied by a short, emotional message or inscription.
Memorial tattoos are generally medium in size. They can also be simple or intricate in design, as well as black/grey or colored. The design can be unique or traditional. It, after all, depends completely on the person getting the tattoo, their relationship with the deceased, and what kind of memory or message they want to portray.
Can Memorial Tattoos Depict Animals?
Of course, they can! Pet memorial tattoos are a great way of honoring and paying tribute to the animal we’ve loved and we’ve lost. It is heartbreaking to lose a loyal pet; in some people, the feeling is the same as though they’ve lost a friend. So, to keep the memory alive, one can get a heartwarming pet memorial tattoo.
Pet memorial tattoos often depict the animals, their name, and maybe even the date of their passing away. Some people add messages or inscriptions as well or go for a design with angel wings.
It is also a great idea to get a paw print as a memorial tattoo, in case one doesn’t want a portrait. And, we’ve also noticed people using their pet’s favorite toys as a design inspiration, which is truly unique and special. Every pet has a unique favorite something, which means that the tattoo itself will be uniquely ‘them’.
The Best Memorial Tattoos Design Ideas
Mother-Daughter Tree Of Life Tattoo
Even though this tattoo design isn’t a traditional memorial tattoo design, we thought it could be a great way to honor a mother’s love and care. Unfortunately, the passing of a mother is in many cases traumatic, and the fact that such an important person is now gone can make you feel incredibly alone and unsafe.
However, this tattoo can remind you that your mother is always watching after you! She is always there to help you grow (like the tree) and keep you safe. We hope that this tattoo design will honor all the mothers and keep the memories of them alive!
The roots of the tree in the tattoo design can be formed in such a way to depict the mother’s name, a date, or a short message. Even though subtle, the tattoo design is effective and the symbolism is truly bittersweet.
This tattoo can also be done to depict a mother-son connection, not just the daughter. It might require a little design alteration, but nothing that a good tattoo artist can’t do.
The connection between a son and his father is always special. The son sees the father as someone they can rely on and look up to. So, the loss of a father is an incredibly traumatic and sad experience.
One way you can honor your father is by depicting his taking care of you and loving you. A father carrying his son is a truly unspoiled, innocent, and sweet memory everybody shares with their parent. So, why not use this memory to honor the father and keep the memory alive and well.
With this tattoo, you’ll be always reminded that your father is close by, looking over you and keeping you safe!
The tattoo design can be altered to also depict a father-daughter connection. It might require a little design alteration, but nothing too drastic. The tattoo will be the same and the symbolism will also remain.
Grandparents Tattoo Design
Sometimes, the best way to honor someone and pay tribute to their amazing life is by simply depicting the real-life form of them. For example, the real-life tattoo example above is a great way to depict and honor one’s grandparents. The tattoo is completely based on a picture/image. However, it is softened and color-adjusted to showcase the idea of memory and life fading away. Fortunately, with this tattoo, your grandparents will always be by your side!
Speaking of grandparents, we had to include this tattoo example as well. The story behind this tattoo is truly heartwarming. This person’s grandmother used to make their favorite pudding in the dish they’re holding in the image. However, this person has moved away, so to keep their sweet grandmother always by their side, they decided to tattoo the design printed on the pudding dish.
This is a great example of a unique way to honor someone and keep them by your side. Even though we as spectators may not know right away the meaning behind the tattoo and whether it is a memorial tattoo or not, this person knows its true meaning and symbolism. And that is all that matters at the end of the day!
Partner Remembrance Tattoo
Losing a partner and the love of your life is devastating. Your life simply seems like it’s falling apart without the person you love. So, it is understandable when people don’t want to be reminded of such a loss daily. However, a partner remembrance tattoo can be incredibly important and necessary on one’s journey through the grieving process and acceptance that life goes on.
Such a tattoo can pay a wonderful tribute to one’s partner and ensure their love and connection with you never end, even though they’re physically gone. Some of the more simple designs include a rose and italic lettering in regards to one’s lost love. The design is simple but incredibly effective, and no matter how bittersweet, it will honor the memory of your loved one for the rest of your life.
Date and Name Memorial Tattoo
If you’re not a fan of portrait tattoos, you can always honor your loved one by simply getting a date and name memorial tattoo. Such tattoos can simply feature the date of birth and death as well as the name of a loved one. Most often, people also add a message or an inscription as a way to say goodbye to the loved one.
Date and name memorial tattoos can feature element slike angle’s wings, a cross, a heart, flowers, and some even feature the person’s signature. These tattoos are generally simple, but very effective in their symbolism and intention.
Pet Memorial Tattoo
Losing a pet can be just as traumatizing as losing a loved one. Your pet is your best friend and a loyal companion through life. So, what better way of honoring your furry friend than by getting them tattooed. You can get a portrait tattoo or a paw tattoo; regardless of what you choose, you can be sure to have your dear pet always close by.
We recommend adding items and elements unique to your pet as a part of the design. This way, the tattoo itself will be unique and one-of-a-kind, just like your pet was.