Friday, October 14, 2011


First written one year after Jeff died....

Since Jeff died, I have carried this wound of loss inside me. To anyone passing me on the street this scar is hidden. But it is there nonetheless.
I have tried to think of a way to commemorate the loss of Jeff that makes this scar, not only a sign of an injury, but a symbol of survival and strength. Something that calls my love to my mind and helps me to feel closer to the strength and his abilities of self-assurance that he was so capable of. Jeff was my anchor and the loss of him has forced me to grow so very much since his death.
So, in memory of Jeff, I went on the anniversary of his death to remember him with a symbol. An anchor to symbolize Jeff and his love of the ocean and mehndi style flowers and feathers to symbolize growth and flight.
Although I am sure that its' placement (on the inside of my right forearm) will cause a few raised eyebrows (my grandmother wasn't hugely impressed), I am okay with this. This is me. This is my life. These are the marks placed upon it by the happenings in my life. These marks are to remind me that Jeff loved me flaws and all, that I am strong, forced to be even stronger since losing him, and that he will always be with me in someway. When I wrap my arms around my children, this symbol will be held close to them. When I clutch at my chest with fear or sadness, he will be close to my heart...


  1. It is very cool. I am thinking of getting one in honor of my Brian. The story of the dragonfly has resonated with me. We spent a lot of time at my parents' lake house where there are always dragonflys and lillypads. And that dragonfly story reminds me that even though I can't see him I know he still with us, still taking care of us n many ways. I would like to have a tattoo artist design something that is a dragonfly with his initials hidden in the design. I give you credit for putting it out there on your arm, I am not so brave but will do it on my foot and up my ankle area.

  2. OMG Jackie!
    I have contemplated doing the same thing for almost nine months.
    This is soooo beautiful. I love the design! I think the reason a tattoo also resonates with me, is I need the permanence. I need to know it will be something I can see.
    My daughter already did this (however she has multiple tattoos already).
    May I ask how you came up with the design?

  3. I've never been a tattoo person, but I love nice art and that is absolutely lovely!
    I have considered tattooing something small but meaningful, like Dave's name on the inside of my ring finger, but am not brave enough for a number of reasons.

  4. Memorial tattoos can be of some comfort to those who choose to “ink” their bodies. Four months after my wife died I decided to have a large back tattoo, as you can see in my profile photo. The female is a likeness of my wife. The lion is representing me as a “Leo”. The two large flowers on my left shoulder represent my two children. The smaller flowers represent my grand children and future grand children. The fan with the “tree of life”, the Acacia tree, from Africa represents our family tree.

  5. Love it! The symbolism. I have never been into "ink", but as you said so perfectly the scar we carry that is not shown, a way to honor them now. I have been toying with the idea and have a new respect for"ink" now.

  6. All it took for me was Camp Widow..the very first one. After seeing so many beautiful tattoos on so many widows...I was sold. My husband was from Argentina. I chose the sun in the middle of the Argentine flag with his day of death scrolled underneath. It was shortly after the two year mark and on Eddie's birthday that I chose to "ink" my ankle and go thru some intense pain. But it had in no way compared to the pain that was inside of me for the first two years..I truly believe it was the most intense yet beautiful experience knowing why I was laying on a table, talking, laughing, and crying all at the same time. Every day when I look at my ankle, I smile and know that Eddie is always with me no matter what.