The popular advise column “Dear Abby” touches on the subject of tribute tattoos in today’s papers.
Two weeks ago I got a memorial tattoo done for my beloved grandma. It’s on my arm and says “in loving memory” at the top. Gram’s portrait is underneath, and a beautiful poem my grandpa wrote for her is under the portrait. The tattoo artist did a phenomenal job! It looks just like her and I was thrilled with the results.
The problem is, I posted a picture on Facebook of the tattoo, and out of the blue a distant cousin sent me a message telling me that the tattoo was “selfish and attention-seeking behavior”! He said he was hurt in more ways than one because of it.
Abby, I don’t understand. I love this tattoo. I wanted to honor the woman who meant so much to me. Did I honor her the wrong way like he says? Was I selfish? I’m so hurt, I guess I’m just looking for some input into this. My friends and family say he’s jealous and not to give it another thought, but I’m obsessing. Please help.
– Honoring Grandma
Dear Honoring Grandma:
Please accept my sympathy for your obviously heartfelt loss. Your family and friends are correct that your cousin’s comments are out of line. You are not responsible for your cousin’s feelings, so stop obsessing. Whatever has hurt him “in more ways than one” is not your tattoo, or anything you posted on Facebook.
You say he is distant. Keep it that way and concentrate on something positive like the fact that you have honored your grandmother’s memory. Then go on and build a happy and constructive life. I’m sure that is what she would want you to do.