Mourning the loss of a loved one is a process that everyone journeys through in their own way. For some, the idea of keeping a part of a family member with them is comforting, and therefore, a memorial tattoo is a part of the grieving process. These designs capture the significance of that person and act as reminders of the impact their life had. A somewhat newer trend in these tribute tattoos is the inclusion of the cremated remains or ashes. The ash is mixed with tattoo ink and then applied. This way, the visual representation is also a physical one.
These tattoos are sometimes called ritual tattoos or commemorative tattoos. Getting this type of tattoo can be a cathartic and even healing experience. While there is pain involved, there’s also comfort found in the idea that the individual who has passed will always be with you, still living on. We decided to take a look at tattoos with cremation ashes to discover what sorts of meaningful designs people were getting to pay tribute. Here are 25 memorial tattoos that offer a bittersweet reminder of the ones people hold dear.
This baseball tattoo is for a cousin who was like a “big brother” to the person who shared the photo. “A part of him will always be with me,” they write.
“You’re part of me still,” is an excellent sentiment for one of these tribute tattoos. A simple black line and text are all that’s needed to make this memorial tattoo meaningful to the person with it.
Danny for Dad
“This tattoo holds more meaning than face value,” the person who shared this image wrote. “My dad looked & behaved just like Danny… I joked with my dad long before he passed that this tattoo would eventually happen, and he gave me the ok.. What’s even more special about this tattoo is that I was able to put a little bit of his ashes into the ink.. He will always be apart of me… Physically and in my heart..”
Love to Mom
“Bound with Ashes,” this person writes. “It’s been six months and six days since you left Mamma. Still unimaginable and heartbreaking.” We hope this heartshaped ash tattoo offers solace.
For Mom & Dad
“This is an incredibly special piece, this piece is a beautiful memorial for Mary’s late mother and father, the black pigment contains their ashes making it so special!” the tattoo artist who shared the image wrote. A simple floral design is a great choice for these memorial tattoos.
“Very fun tattoo I got to do today in loving memory of her mom,” the artist captioned this photo. “With her [mom’s] ashes in it. Her mom had the same tattoo and now so does she thank you for letting me do it for you.”
Here’s another beautiful floral design with the inclusion of gorgeous butterflies. This delicate tattoo includes the recently deceased’s signature. A nice to touch to help personalize this tat further.
Roses for a Friend
Yellow roses symbolize friendship. These absolutely breathtaking roses are a beautiful reminder of a lost friend. We love this idea.
“Thank you so much Clint at This Is The Place Tattoo for my beautiful piece of Liam and the beginning to my half sleeve,” one woman wrote to her tattoo artist. “It has Liam’s ashes in the ink so he can be with me forever. Clint free hands all his work and does amazing for anyone who [knew] Liam you know it is totally him. I love it!”
“Memorial for her parents tattooed with their ashes,” the tattoo artist who completed this job wrote. “Coordinates are where she spread the rest of their ashes at sea.” What a sweet and thoughtful tribute.
For this person’s first tattoo, they decided to pay tribute to their late mother. The angel wings are a touching reminder of the gentle soul that’s now in heaven.
For Their Aunt
These cousins got matching tattoos for their aunt who had passed. She must have enjoyed unicorns. What a sweet and meaningful reminder of the things she loved.
Owl for Dad
“Love love love my second tattoo for my daddy,” this person wrote. This haunting owl is gorgeous. We love the inclusion of white ink to give it so much subtle depth.
A Lily for Mum
Floral designs that include a mom’s favorite flowers is a wise choice. Not only is it a beautiful design, but it also carries symbolic significance.
For Niko, the Dog
People aren’t the only ones being honored with memorial tattoos. This dog named Niko has always been tattooed with ink mixed with ashes. RIP, little Niko.
For Bo, the Cat
We were surprised to find so many ash tattoos of cats. People get a lot of them. Here’s one of our favorite designs that’s a portrait of Bo, the cat. What a cutie.
“A rose for Sierra, with her dad’s ashes,” the artist wrote. “It is always an honor to be a part of someone’s healing journey.” This rose tattoo is beautifully done.
This tattoo of butterflies is for this mom’s son, Ben. Ashes have been added to the darker-colored inks to make this memorial tattoo extra special.
“I am right here with you,” is a message of solace. This very neatly done tattoo is a simple, yet effective tribute.
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The person with this creative raven tattoo got a very personal memorial to a loved one. It’s clear that the person being honored here had a love for nature and wildlife.
Musical ribbons and lilies remind the person with this tattoo of her grandfather. It’s such a beautiful piece.
“I may not see you but I can feel you,” is a sweet, endearing message. The person with this tattoo referred to it as “eternal ink.”
“A hammerhead shark with my grandfather’s ashes in it,” the person with this ink wrote. “I chose the hammerhead shark because our Hawaiian maiden name’s guardian is the shark. And in Hawaii, the hammerhead is known to be a sign [of] protection for your loved ones.”
This tattoo is for a girl named Isabella who is lovingly referred to as Isa. This sweet childlike design is very moving.
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A Rose for Rosie
This stunningly dramatic black rose is one of our favorites on this list. The circle of dots acts almost like a halo. We understand that it might not be for everyone but we really love it.
There you go. 25 ash tattoos to memorialize the ones we love most. These tattoos are a way to grieve and move forward while allowing yourself something to remember with. We hope you feel inspired by these images and the deep meaning they carry.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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