Sentimental Memorial Tattoos Have Mental Health Benefits, Too

Grief is a heavy emotion to deal with. While it can be described as a universal experience, it seems to hit us like a singular tidal wave when facing it head-on. There are so many ways to deal with this, including therapy, talking to someone, or even joining support groups. There's no right process, and everyone has their way of dealing with this. Lately, people have been turning to a new outlet to help the grieving process: tattoos.


Tattoos are a great way to express yourself, and they haveĀ a super extensive history, dating back to Egyptian mummies in 2000 B.C. While some people might be against their loved ones getting a tattoo while grieving, this might be the best thing for them. According to mental health experts, Alison Stone, LCSW, and Rose Bleiweis, LCSW-C, in a recentĀ Byrdie interview explain that this might be a great thing for the grieving individual.

It gives people a sense of control

Regardless of whether you saw it coming or not, death is always shocking to the system. Dr. Bleiweis explained that one of the most common expressions of grief is feeling you don't have any control over the situation. Getting a memorial tattoo can be a great way to gain a sense of control that can be very healing in the long run.


With tattoos, you have all of the power. The person getting the tattoo can decide the most ideal location for a tattoo, as well as how it should look. In a study done by Psych, the participants who got their tattoos felt like they got their power back. An example of this was a participant whose grandfather passed away from a serious illness. She wanted to remember her loved one in a positive light, so she tattooed her grandfather in perfect health. "I was so happy when it was done, it was almost like it was popping out of my arm, like, seeing [him] again. A feeling of pride and joy almost overcame me," she explained.

Becomes a source of comfort

It's a very common concern for people to worry about how a tattoo will be viewed in the long run. There is an idea that tattoo removal can hurt more than getting a tattoo, which might have you think twice about getting one in the first place. However, according to Dr. Bleiweiss, memorial tattoos provide a source of comfort that lasts a lifetime, similar to other forms of memorials. This is because it symbolizes being able to carry a piece of that loved one on their body.


Dr. Stone also points out that it relieves people from the guilt of moving on. When it comes to memorial tattoos, it tends to make us feel like we took the extra step to make sure the loved one in our life is not forgotten. Tattoos like these can not only help with the grieving process, but also provide a mental benefit that we don't often pay attention to.