It’s the end of another week. One friend was buried due to suicide. His family and friends cried, mourned, questioned, and rejoiced over his new home. One friend turned 18 and got a tattoo on her arm in memory of our son Isaiah (who took his life 10 months ago today). I went to work today and didn’t realize it was another anniversary until someone reminded me.
I don’t like tattoos. Ok, I hate them. I didn’t want our friend to get one. It wasn’t because of Isaiah’s name on her arm. It was from fear that she will regret it as she gets older. I own some clothes that are probably older than 18 years. She is young but technically she is an adult.
She wrote about it on her blog. I didn’t copy the whole thing but if you’re interested in reading it, let me know.
She has had a hard time with life. Her arm is covered with scars from harming herself. She is past that now and I’m glad. Part of her strategy with the tattoo was to cover her scars. I was reminded by her summary of the tattoo process that:
1) Scars can last a life time. They may not hurt but they can still be visible.
2) Scars can be felt. They leave ridges and bumps.
3) Sometimes they bleed.
4) Dealing with scars: some will be shocked and alarmed by them. Others will be casual and unalarmed and will just wipe away the blood.
5) Our emotional scars are just like that. We have them. We feel them. We see them. Sometimes they bleed. Will we be shocked or alarmed? Will we come up with a creative way not to cover them up but to turn them into a new vision?
Here is her excerpts:
My cuts and burns and scars are proof that I felt unbearably bad. With this tattoo, I show my sorrow on my arm in a new way, and I can honor Isaiah in this way. I feel like I don’t need to hurt myself now, as strange as that might sound. I know it’s not that easy, but so far this seems like it’s going to be a great thing for me.
The only problem with that was that every now and then, he would go over a scar and it would break open and start bleeding. That didn’t phase Joe at all though, so I just pretended (and hoped) that that was normal.
My tattoo deeply resonates with me today because it’s the ten month mark since Isaiah’s death. While this tattoo acknowledges his passing, it more importantly says “I’m still alive.” Amen to that! Thanks J.