Chris DeWald: Dealing with grief

Column by Chris DeWald
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Grief may be triggered by the death of a loved one. People also can experience grief if they have an illness for which there is no cure, or a chronic condition that affects their quality of life. The end of a significant relationship may also cause a grieving process.

Everyone feels grief in their own way. However, there are certain stages to the process of mourning. It starts with recognizing a loss and continues until a person eventually accepts that loss. People’s responses to grief will be different, depending on the circumstances of the death.

For example, if the person who died had a chronic illness, the death may have been expected. The end of the person’s suffering might even have come as a relief. If the death was accidental or violent, coming to a stage of acceptance could take longer.

Getting a tattoo is not a traditional part of the grieving process. Yet people deal with grief in many different ways. A memorial tattoo for the one you’ve lost can help you heal. The physical pain represents the pain you feel inside. The tattoo is a memorial that will stay with you forever. Some people consider them private. Others want people to see them and ask what they mean. In sharing the memory of their loved one, they bring that person to life.

According to , people go out and get tattoos for all sorts of reason, whether it be to celebrate a birth, to form a connection with someone, to moralize someone you love or to simply help yourself grieve the loss of a loved one. More people than you would think get a tattoo to help them remember a loved one that has passed on. Not only does this tattoo help the person who is getting it to remember the person they are immortalizing, but it truly can help with the grieving process.

It helps the one left here on earth feel like they have a piece of their lost one with them forever and no one can take that away from them.

Some tattoo parlors admit that as much as 30 percent of their business is from memorial tattoos. Of course psychologists highly recommend that people don’t do this. However, they do recognize that a tattoo can help someone grieve the loss of a loves one. But they also quickly admit that if someone goes through with a memorial tattoo, they might see it as an impulse decision later on in life, which is complete nonsense.

If you are getting a tattoo to remember a lost loved one, how could you end up regretting it? If something as simple as a tattoo is going to help someone get over the loss of a loved one, then by all means they should do it. Just remember to keep the same rules for getting a regular a tattoo in mind. Think long and hard about your design, think about size and most importantly the location.

I wrote an article about stroke survivors and being impulsive. You have to remember what medications you are on before embarking into a parlor. I am on coumadin/warfarin and have a large dose to keep my blood very thin. This is why it is important to choose an artist. Some artists do not tattoo people on various medications. Some doctors recommend against it. Always check with your doctor before taking on any procedures.

The artist I use works at inFamous Tattoo at 1322 Hillside Ave., Harrisonburg. Nathan Heim was my artist and gave me tattoo #1. It represented that I an attempt to remove me from the world we live in failed twice. I had a new beginning.

Tatto #2 represented an action of grief over a former comrade where I worked. He passed on younger than me and I wished ten thousand years of life to those who viewed the tatoo rather than a death representation. Tattoo #3 was to remind others to charge on with their lives no matter what situations they are facing. My grief tattoo, so far, got many to inquire as the color is vibrant. Rather than facing our own internal feelings, I make life positive and tell them to never stop trying. Never stop charging in life despite the odds.

In Virginia, you must pass a rigorous course and be licensed to perform any tattoo legally. Safety and cleanliness is a high priority. There are licensed professionals in this art shop. Leon Boudreax is another artist and Sara Pennigton (AKA Twan) does the piercing according to state health regulations. This shop is extremely clean and organized. They answer all questions concerning and procedure they are licensed to perform. Want to see some of thir work to include mine, please go to:!/pages/Harrisonburg-VA/inFamous-Tattoo/312183159491?v=photos

Remember my friends, never give up enjoying this world and life. There is a reason we all are alive.

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