Why I Do Not Have a Tattoo

I thought about getting a tattoo after Susanna died. Pictures of a potential self to become drifted through my mind at times, and for some reason she had black hair, skull shaped silver rings and tattoos. Also I understood the permanence, a person’s memory inked into your body for the life span of the body, and at that point you meet again. I have no tattoos. Simply, I do not like pain. My kids and I used to walk by a tattoo parlor near out house, so I explained what little I know of the process. At the word “needles” they were pretty much finished with the whole thing. So, at the thought of making a plan to have hearts or butterflies engraved, I pictured Susanna with me in spirit, sitting beside me in the chair, saying “Why are you doing that? It hurts!” From that moment I no longer wanted one.
There can be longing so strong, when you miss someone, enough that time and place can disappear and you can touch them through the veil. It was somewhere near bedtime, during that first week without Susanna, that I made a decision to find her out of need. I pulled through her face and hair and smell and touch and hugged her. It did not matter what I believed or what had happened or what I called it or believed about it, but that was my daughter and death could not take her from me. Motherhood makes you willing to do what you need to you for your child, even if you need to wrestle a lion with your bare hands. Your love is strong enough to make you survive beyond the tattered pile of lion food you may become. Yes, I am speaking a language beyond the day to day. Perhaps my words sound more like a scene from “Ghost”, not Demi Moore’s perspective but Patrick Swayze’s, than anything which happened last Tuesday. This makes them no less real.
Forgive me if I no longer take as much interest in whatever the stressful goings on in the day. Perhaps I have forgotten to do something which may have been unforgettably important to me at an earlier time. I will neither become angrily excited about things I think are wrong or petty. My sights are typically on the eternal. Certainly I can show up and converse and go to work and complete life’s paperwork, but my mind’s eye is full of a search for nature and heaven in its spectral colors and essence of love. My heart is heaving sobs at regular intervals because the love and the loss are so much bigger than me. And I am not the only one. There is more to life than life.

By trishfreer

Mother, writer, artist and teacher grappling with grief and loss.

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