While people get tattoos for all kinds of reasons, one of the most moving is to commemorate a friend or loved one who’s passed away. Some inked New Jersey residents have chosen to pay tribute to a person they’ve lost in this most intimate and personal of ways.
Dave Nyegaard, a tattoo artist at Tattooville in Linden, told NJ.com he’s had people come into the shop asking for a memorial tattoo the same day the person has died. He talks each customer through the image they want adorned on their skin, but urges them to get something other than just the person’s birth and death dates, and to instead make it more personal. “They did so much more than live and die. Why not get something you’ll remember them by, like that person’s favorite flower?” he said.
Kim Benevento, owner of Inner City Tattoo in Elizabeth, observed that the physical ache of the tattoo needle can sometimes help someone deal with all the roiling emotions that death can bring. “It is painful, so it makes you focus on the now,” she said.
Here are a few of these touching tattoos that ensure the wearers keep the people most special to them close at all times.