A lot of people get tattoos for silly reasons. A random dolphin on your ankle or your back does not really mean very much; it is in no way significant. A lot of people have tattoos, and a lot of people get them just because they can or they are trying to prove a minor point.
A lot of people get them because they are challenged to do so by friends.
Sometimes, however, people get tattoos for truly powerful and extremely personal reasons.
In such cases, the tattoos can be used to acknowledge a family member or friend. They can even remind a person of an important time or event in their life. That sort of tattoo can be a wonderful thing.
Here are 12 tattoos that earnestly acknowledge important people or events. Fair warning: most of the stories are really quite sad.
1. The Woman Who Got a Tattoo to Acknowledge Her Dad
The woman in this image got a tattoo to honor her father, who died in December of 2016. She did not get a portrait made, though; instead, the tattoo simply depicts the man’s moustache and glasses.
The picture of her father hugging her on what appears to be her wedding day is adorable; the man clearly loved his daughter.
The tattoo she got is also in a very appropriate spot. You would have to look behind her ear to see it. Unless someone is looking for it, the tattoo won’t be noticeable. The young woman is definitely keeping it classy. Her father would probably approve.
2. The Young Woman Who Got the Tattoo of a Book To Honor Her Dad
In this case, a woman got a tattoo that referenced the book that her father was reading when he passed away. He apparently died before she was born. The novel was bookmarked at page 128.
The novel “All the Pretty Horses” was published in May of 1992 and won several awards. It was turned into a film in 2000 and starred Matt Damon.
3. The LEGO Tattoo
This Lego tattoo is meant to honor a person’s older brother. That brother died just before he turned 40 years old. The siblings apparently played with Lego blocks together.
Siblings have been playing with Lego construction toys for decades now. The popular toys were first manufactured back in 1949. Over 600 billion Lego parts have been produced since then.
It is actually considered one of the world’s most powerful brands, and there are even Legoland amusement parks. There are also Lego-related video games, and they are incredibly popular.
4. The Tattoo About the Heroin
This tattoo exists to remind the person who got it of his sobriety. The person apparently used heroin for 12 years and has been sober for four years. Every year, on July 23, the tattoo is updated.
Heroin addiction is a truly serious matter. The drug, which is typically injected, causes thousands of deaths every year. When people overdose on heroin or other opioids, they often stop breathing, so there is a death due to a lack of oxygen.
Overdose often happens because heroin’s purity varies and because people’s tolerance for the drug declines after periods of abstinence.
Deaths also occur when heroin is consumed with other substances, such as alcohol.
In the mid-20th century, a lot of jazz musicians used heroin; examples include Ray Charles and Charlie Parker. It was a problem with musicians in the 1990s, as well. For example, it is well known that Kurt Cobain used heroin. Pete Doherty has also admitted to using heroin.
5. The Tattoo About the Car Accident
This tattoo honors a friend who died in a car accident. The friend who died actually wanted to be a race car driver, which makes the tattoo particularly touching.
It does not need to be said that motor vehicle collisions cause property damage, injury, as well as death. According to recent data, over 50 million people are injured in motor vehicle collisions every year, and more than a million people die each year as a result of the injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents.
Human factors—such as distracted driving—are responsible for the majority of fatal car accidents.
In recent years, drivers being distracted by mobile devices has become a major problem. Many people browse the internet and update social media while in control of a vehicle. Texting while driving is also a major issue.
6. The Concentration Camp ID
This is one of the more poignant and touching tattoos anyone has ever received. The backstory is tragic, but it is nice to know that the person who was once in the concentration camp lived to the age of 96. That is truly impressive and extremely heartwarming.
It is also really nice that the person who gave the tattoo to the grandson refused to be paid for doing so. It probably was the most important tattoo she had ever done—or ever will.
Matthausen was among the first of Nazi Germany’s massive concentration camp complexes. It was also one of the last to be liberated. For various reasons, it is unknown how many people died there. However, scholars believe that—when factoring in its 100 or so subcamps—the death toll could be well over 300,000.
Frankly, it is sort of amazing that the man’s paternal grandfather survived such a horrific ordeal. Most people did not.
It is also very cool that the guy who got the tattoo also gave the tattoo artist the Polaroid of his grandfather’s tattoo.
That artist will forever remember the atrocities that occurred during World War II. That is a period of time that should not ever be forgotten. We definitely do not want history to repeat itself.
7. The Note From Dad
This tattoo is a replica of a note written by a father in a yearbook when his child was just a little kid. The father died back in 2009.
It must be nice to be able to look at a part of your body and be reminded that your father was proud of you and loved you. While it could—at times—be a painful reminder that the father is no longer physically present, it must be comforting.
People often consider mothers to be the more important parental figure, but that is not really the case. Fathers are vital to the emotional well-being of their kids, and they definitely influence their children’s relationships and behaviors. Boys tend to behave like their fathers, and girls often seek out romantic partners who remind them of their dads.
Furthermore, girls who have supportive fathers tend to be better at math and science; boys who have loving and supportive fathers tend to get better grades in school.
8. The Tattoo of the Father’s Handprint
This guy got his father’s handprint tattooed on his back. His father had passed away, of course, but the tattoo is a good way of making sure that his dad is always with him. As mentioned above, fathers are very important in regard to the development of healthy adults.
The young man in the image clearly loved his dad very much, and it is a shame they did not have more time together.
9. The Tattoo of the Laugh
This tattoo is the waveform of a laugh. The laugh came from a child who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and the man who got the tattoo is the little boy’s father. The poor child will always and forever be close to his dad’s heart.
This tattoo is both heartwarming and depressing. No parent should ever have to bury his or her child.
SIDS, which is also known as “crib death”, refers to an unexplained and sudden death of a child who is under the age of one. Even after an autopsy, the death can’t be properly explained. The deaths typically happen when the child is asleep.
The cause of SIDS is not known, although certain risk factors have been proposed. For example, exposure to tobacco smoke may be a factor.
According to experts, the best way to prevent SIDS is to put an infant to sleep on his or her back. Because overheating may contribute to SIDS-related deaths, sleeping environments should be relatively cool. Sharing a bed with a parent or sibling also increases the risk of SIDS.
For reasons that are not completely clear, SIDS tends to impact male babies more often than female babies. Most cases of SIDS occur before the age of six months.
Unsurprisingly, breastfeeding tends to reduce the risk of SIDS. The use of pacifiers, for reasons that are not totally clear, also reduces the risk.
In 2010, over 20,000 babies died as a result of SIDS.
10. The Tattoo to Honor the Mom
This person’s mother would leave post-it notes around the house; when the mom perished, the child got a tattoo that looked just like one of the notes. Both the notes and the tattoo are super sweet, and the tattoo must be a comfort to the grieving child.
11. The One About the Best Friend
The person who got this particular tattoo lost a best friend to suicide at the age of 15, which is truly awful. The tattoo will forever remind her of her dear friend.
Suicide is a major problem throughout the world. Hundreds of thousands of people take their own lives each year. Men tend to take their own lives more often than women do.
Risk factors for suicide include substance abuse, homelessness, brain injuries, mental disorders, problem gambling, chronic pain, and insomnia. Recent stress, such as the loss of a loved one or a job, also contributes to the decision to commit suicide. Social isolation (e.g., living alone) can also be a factor. The support of others can be absolutely critical.
12. The Tattoo of the House
This is a really impressive-looking tattoo. The guy in the image grew up in the house depicted in the tattoo. The house caught on fire, apparently, and he ended up losing his parents as well as his dog. Losing both your parents and your pet? That’s a truly rough and horrific experience that no one should ever have to go through.
It is a sad story, and we feel for the guy, but you really do have to admire the tattoo artist’s work. It is truly impressive. You have to wonder what other works of art the artist produced.
So those are twelve of the most poignant tattoos out there; however, you can be sure there are more that exist that are attached to equally touching stories.
Tattoos are interesting as a subject, as the practice of tattooing has existed for thousands of years. Tattoos were recently found on Egyptian mummies—the people on which the tattoos were found lived before 3000 BCE.
In the United States and throughout western society, tattoos first became mainstream in the 1970s or so. Decades ago, they were once considered an act of deviance; times have changed, though, and tattoos are now considered an acceptable form of expression.
Unsurprisingly, many religions have their own views on tattoos. For example, Judaism technically prohibits them due to a commandment in Leviticus. As a result, certain denominations of Christianity prohibit them.
Tattoos are also often considered prohibited by those who practice Sunni Islam due to rulings from scholars as well as certain passages in the Hadith.
If you are going to get a tattoo, you should consider it permanent. While it is possible to partially or fully remove a tattoo, doing so is a painful and expensive process.