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Guide to memorial tattoos

Both getting a tattoo and remembering a loved one are very personal things, so we can’t tell you the best tattoo for someone who passed away. If you’re looking for memorial tattoo ideas, though, we can offer you a place to start.

Should I get a memorial tattoo?

Before getting any tattoo, especially if it’s your first tattoo, be sure that it’s something you want. Tattoos aren’t for everyone, and you don’t need a tattoo to prove your love; that love will exist even if you don’t ink it into your skin.

If you feel confident that you want a tattoo, though, memorial tattoos can be very meaningful. The people we love leave a mark on us, and remembrance tattoos are a way of making that mark visible.

Finding tattoos to remember a loved one

One way to come up with personalised memorial tattoo ideas is to consider what the person you’re remembering loved. A favourite bird or animal, a favourite flower, a favourite gemstone.

Another way is to think about things you personally shared with them. For example, was there a videogame you played together, a book series you always talked about with them, a band you both loved?

Don’t dismiss these things as trivial; if you both enjoyed them and they helped you bond, they were valuable to you. They can also be a source of inspiration for remembrance tattoos. If your loved one introduced you to a film that means a lot to you, and that film includes a symbol or logo you like the design of, that could be a possibility for your tattoo.

A third way to find tattoo designs for lost loved ones is to consider the personality traits you loved in them, and to look for designs that symbolise those traits. For example, intelligence could be symbolised by a fox, an owl or a book.

Some ideas for simple memorial tattoos

  • Sometimes, people have names that suggest tattoo designs: a lion for Leo, a lily for Lily, a cluster of catkins for Willow.
  • Leaves or flowers often make strong tattoo designs. If your loved one had a favourite plant or flower, you could remember them with, for example, a simple maple leaf or daffodil tattoo.
  • Did your loved one have a favourite weather type or time of day? Did you ever share a meaningful conversation in a blizzard or under the stars? The sun, the moon, some stars, a cloud, a raindrop, a snowflake: all of these could be potential tattoo designs.
  • Sometimes we associate our loved ones with particular animals. Animal tattoos can be realistic and elaborate, but there are also simpler options if you prefer them; for example, you might choose to have a simple cat tattoo done in outline or silhouette. If your loved one reminded you of a bird in some way, a feather tattoo might be fitting.

Hopefully you can find some inspiration here for tattoo ideas for loved ones that passed away. In the end, the important thing is that the tattoo feels meaningful to you and you’re happy with the design.

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