Memorial Tattoos with Human Ashes: Injecting Love

For some time now, people have been getting tattoos in memory of a loved one. Owners of tattoo businesses often claim they help people find closure. Common memorial tattoos showcase favorite pictures, a person’s name, birth and death dates, or even a portrait of the person remembered. But why stop with just pictures and words to remember a loved one?  Why not inject the actual person into your body as part of the tattoo?

Some people are choosing to use cremains (human remains in the form of ashes) as part of a tattoo. It is not a new practice, but it is recently receiving more attention. Tattoo artists who are willing to do the procedure take a small amount of human ashes and mix them with the ink. Then they use that cremation ink to make the tattoo.

Some medical experts worry about the health implications of injecting human remains into your body. Tattoo artists who practice this method assure clients that there have been no problems. However, one customer did say the tattoo was itchier than usual. I guess it gives a new twist to saying that someone is getting under your skin.

The photo to the right shows Kim Mordue and her husband David, a tattoo artist in South Wales. According to an article in the Daily Mail Reporter, Kim is getting a tattoo that includes her son’s ashes.  She loves that her son will be a part of her the rest of her life.

A few websites  give directions for making your own tattoo ink with cremains. A page on ehow.com directs you to pour ashes into a blender, add a little vodka, and blend for one hour. Other sites suggest that you bake the ashes first to help with sterilization. Some “experts” argue that ashes are already sterile and need no baking.

There is less discussion about whether it is proper to seek permission ahead of time from the loved one you want to inject into your body. Is it proper to ask for a person’s blessing before he or she dies?  Perhaps that individual would want a say as to what part of the body will be tattooed with his or her ashes.

Would you find it comforting to have a memorial tattoo that includes ashes from a loved one?  Would you be honored to have someone else do this with your ashes?  Share your thoughts.

This entry was posted in Consumerism, Cremation, Grief. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Memorial Tattoos with Human Ashes: Injecting Love

  1. Debi says:

    I had my son’s ashes added to the ink of a tattoo I just had done 5 days ago. It’s healing nicely, and he would be honored. He died at age 23, very unexpectedly. He’s all I think about, it’s hard to believe.

    • nancyberns says:

      Debi,
      I am sorry for your loss and hope you have some support as you continue to miss your son. Thank you for sharing your experience about your tattoo. May it bring you some comfort. Nancy

    • Claire Dunwell says:

      Hi I’m writing to you to find out where i can get my tattoo done with my partners ashes. If you could give me as much information as possible it would be much appreciated. many thanx.

      • nancyberns says:

        Claire, It varies by location. The best thing to do is talk to your local tattoo artist. He or she may be able to tell you what is available near you. I’m sorry for your loss. Nancy

  2. Lynne Morley says:

    Debi,
    I am sorry for your loss of your beloved Son. I too lost my only child almost 2 years ago and although it gets easier, the pain and grief is always there. I just got my first tattoo 2 weeks ago, in the form of the hummingbird that he came to see me as after he died. I love the fact that I have his remains in it as I feel peaceful in knowing he is back with me, just how he started. God bless you and my deepest sympathies to you. Take it one day at a time and allow yourself to heal. From one Mom to another, believe that it will get better and let yourself cry and learn to laugh again with your memories. Be good to yourself.

  3. christine emma says:

    I want to get one of these tattoos I live in Massachusetts does any one know any where around me I can get this done is it more money I’m want an angel with my sisters ashes. Please let me know

  4. Brianna says:

    Im going to be getting a tattoo soon, but with my dog remains. My dad and i will both be getting one, I’m so excited, i can’t wait.

  5. Lorraine says:

    l lost my son almost 1 1/2 years ago. His financee had some of his ashes put in a tattoo she received last year. The artist travels around the country so it’s nearly impossible to get an appointment .
    I live on Long Island and was wondering if anyone knew anyone who did this.

  6. Robert J.C. says:

    I lost my wife May 2013.she is and always will be my best friend. I totally support this idea y’all! Hell we’ve done just about every thing else under these here heavens. Why not,,,I’ll have her Ashes in approx. 10 weeks.
    Anyboby here in so.cal want to make history.we make 4

  7. Jenny says:

    I lost my Dad to suicide in May. I am getting a tattoo of his intials on my inner wrist. I am using his ashes. I’m so excited =)))

  8. heather says:

    My Aunt was murdered and I am getting some of her ashes I thought about getting a tattoo with her ashes in it. This would be my first tattoo. I am only getting a small amount of her remains and am getting a necklace that I can put some of her remains in. I really want a tattoo like this I just want to know how much of her ashes would I need to have this done? I want her to be with me always we used to call each other twins we were so much a like. Is it common for a tattoo artist to do this and I want to make sure that they use all the ink so all of her remains are safe. I guess this may sound weird but in life I could not keep her safe so I am very sensitive that all of what I have left of her is used and safe.

    • nancyberns says:

      Hi Heather,
      You would not need many. It is symbolic to have the ashes rather than essential for the tattoo. You can talk to some tattoo artists to see if any of them do this. Not all of them will. I hope you find a meaningful way to remember your aunt whether in a tattoo or otherwise. Take care. Nancy

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