We all have our own ways to remember loved ones that have passed on. Whether it is from letters they have written to us, favorite pictures of them, even voice tapes and videos. But one of the newest and possibly strangest is keeping a little piece of them hanging on the wall.
That’s correct, you read that last sentence right. Now thanks to group of enterprising funeral directors, we now have the option to recreate a piece of Nazi history, collecting and keeping interesting tattoo’s belonging to the recently departed. Yes now you can have your favorite tattoo of grandpa, framed and hanging on the wall for all eternity.
The question is why would you want too? After all, are tattoos really that fantastic an example of great art? Well according to many the answer to that question is a resounding yes. Since launching their new business service last year, Save My Ink Forever has had hundreds of customers in the US and is now hoping to extend its client base overseas.
The business is ran by Kyle Sherwood along with his father Mike and another friend, who’s also a funeral embalmer. The trio says they came up with the idea while they were discussing post-death keepsakes over drinks one evening. Because many of the group have tattoos, the topic came up “naturally” in conversation.
“All of our tattoos have deep meaning – meaning enough to put it on ourselves for life to proudly display,” Kyle said. “So we thought, well what happens when you die? These works of art that mean so much to the individual – and the family – are gone forever. They are either buried or cremated, never to be seen again.”
It was then that the men began to think of ways they could allow “these works of art to live on” and soon, Save My Ink Forever was born. Kyle said he can’t share how the team preserves tattooed skin because it’s the company’s “little secret”, but he recommends families wishing to use the service should inform their funeral directer within 48 hours of the individual’s death.
The funeral director then contacts the business to arrange for the removal of the tattooed skin before the funeral. “After the removal of the tattoo, we work on the preservation,” Kyle explained. “The preservation process takes roughly a month-and-a-half. The preserved skin art is then placed in a frame with UV protective glass. The tattoo is then shipped back to the family. The whole process takes roughly two months for the family to receive final peace.”
According to Kyle, the reasons why a person may want to keep a loved one’s tattoo vary from case to case. “Why do some people keep locks of hair, thumbprint necklaces, ashes turned into diamond necklaces?” he asked. The team can preserve tattoos ranging from simple hearts to ornate full back pieces. Prices vary depending on the size of the piece, but the cost is usually in the region of $1,000. To find out more, visit the Save My Ink Forever website.