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Remembrance Tattoo

Anyone who knew Lindsay or has followed our story knows of Lindsay's love for flamingos. Flamingos were a frequent theme of decorations around our house and always a must see at every zoo we visited. We always joked how we knew the flamingos were close because their smell was terribly unmistakable. Although Arya does not quite have the same love for flamingos as her mom–she is more of a cheetah girl–that did not stop us from painting her walls (at both our townhouse and home) flamingo feather pink.

A difficult aspect of death and grief is continuing to live and have new experiences without your person. You’ve planned for a lifetime of events but unexpectedly that lifetime is unfairly taken away. One such event Lindsay (and Eric) had planned for after her diagnosis was a survivor tattoo. The details of the art were never finalized but we always knew it would incorporate a flamingo and almost certainly a connection to her role as a mother. Unfortunately, getting a tattoo while undergoing chemotherapy is not advisable due to the risk of infection, but there was always continued hope she would beat cancer and her and Eric could get inked together.

Sadly, Lindsay was never able to get her tattoo but her excitement for this experience instilled a similar intrigue and excitement in me. I had not initially planned to get a tattoo with Lindsay and Eric, but I loved the idea of getting a remembrance tattoo for Lindsay–a piece of art that would forever spark conversations with friends, family, and strangers. With that in mind, I adopted the idea of incorporating a flamingo because it would always remind me (and our friends and family) of Lindsay. I also knew I wanted a black/gray piece that incorporated both uniqueness and realism. Interestingly, I was not having success finding inspiration with web searches, but a Facebook memory of our trip to the San Diego Zoo provided every bit of inspiration I needed.

Everything about this picture screams Lindsay and she is clearly saying "duh, here is your tattoo," so I used the shirt design as the inspiration for my remembrance tattoo. On February 15th, the one year anniversary of Lindsay's passing, Eric joined me as I got my first tattoo. It was a special experience for us both as we reminisced about the year prior and both the good and hard memories we shared. It was a therapeutic experience that allowed me to perfectly and permanently remember Lindsay. The artist nailed it...

I absolutely love the realism of the flamingo with the subtle branches bringing together the more dominant flowers–the flowers that represent our family. I recently learned about birth month flowers and the two bottom flowers are Asters (September) for Lindsay and me, a Marigold (October) for Arya, and the Daffodil (March) for Ellis. These are the subtle details that make this tattoo so meaningful, unique, and full of love to me.

Arya saying hello to the flamingos for mommy.

As I’ve said many times before, life is a privilege and this tattoo is yet another way I am striving to live for Lindsay, the kids, and myself.

Much love to you all!

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