Family Bonds Strengthed as Ashes Infused in Tattoo Ink

Melissa Drake and her son showing off their tattoos.

Therapeutic by way of Ink: How a Semicolon Tattoo Helped a Mom and Son Discover Power

Getting a semicolon tattoo with my son wasn’t nearly getting inked; it was a manner for us to honor the grief and challenges we had endured collectively. However the choice to take it a step additional and add my dad and mom’ ashes to the ink was a manner for us to make sure that they might at all times be with us, in spirit and bodily. This tattoo marked a major step in the direction of new beginnings and writing new tales collectively.

My life was a balancing act, being part of the sandwich technology, caring for getting old and in poor health dad and mom, managing a full-time job, and elevating my son as a single mother. Nonetheless, issues took a flip for the more serious when each of my dad and mom handed away in the identical yr. The burden of grief and loss took a toll on my psychological well being, particularly after I was already fighting melancholy. My son, too, was coping with his personal psychological well being challenges, having misplaced his grandparents and to some extent, his mom.

Throughout these darkish occasions, I discovered myself withdrawn and barely capable of perform exterior of labor. My son, determined for consideration, discovered solace in sports activities but in addition dabbled in dangerous behaviors like skipping college and experimenting with medication. It wasn’t till November 2013, when my son was nearing commencement and I used to be slowly rising from my depressive haze, that we determined to get matching tattoos.

The semicolon tattoo held a particular that means for each of us, as we had each tried suicide up to now. As a part of the rising semicolon motion on the web on the time, we selected to get the tattoos to represent our shared struggles and resilience. And to make our tattoos much more significant, I introduced a vial of my dad and mom’ ashes to the tattoo store, the place the artist included them into the ink.

The tattoo artist initially hesitated on the thought of including ashes to the ink, however with the reassurance that they had been merely carbon, he proceeded with the method. Surprisingly, getting the tattoo was a therapeutic expertise for me, because the symbolism behind it and the data that my dad and mom would at all times be with us introduced me a way of peace.

My son was greatly surprised by my stoicism throughout the tattoo course of, however I reminded him of the bodily and emotional ache I had endured up to now, making the tattoo look like a small feat as compared. Our tattoos grew to become a silent promise to one another to maintain writing the story of our lives, to maintain pushing by way of the ache and discovering energy in one another.

Initially, we stored the true that means of our tattoos non-public, sharing solely cryptic responses or jokes when requested about them. It wasn’t till my son bravely shared our story on social media in 2015 that we began to open up about our struggles and the importance of our tattoos. His submit in regards to the semicolon tattoo and its that means garnered help from family and friends, and it gave me the braveness to share my very own experiences as nicely.

In the present day, my son and I are nonetheless navigating by way of life’s ups and downs, however with a newfound sense of resilience and openness about our previous. Our tattoos function a reminder of the battles we have fought and the energy we have present in one another, as we proceed to write down new chapters of our lives.

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