This post was written on 28 February 2011, the day after I got a tattoo in memory of Juggernaut. 27 February was the due date I was given for Juggernaut when we first found out that we were pregnant.
Andy and I both wanted to get tattoos on our honeymoon. We wanted matching tattoos, but we couldn’t agree on the design, so we never got them. The topic of getting tattoos would come up again every so often over the years after that, but I never got one because I always felt that I’d want any tattoo/s I have to be personally meaningful and linked to important transitions in my life – a sort of permanent mark to remind me of an experience, a value or a big change.
After we lost Juggernaut, I wanted a tattoo. Not to remind me of her – I don’t think it would be possible to forget her or the way she’s changed me. But somehow, having an external mark that represented Juggernaut, our love for her and all the ways that loving and losing her has changed us felt healing. I think that getting this tattoo was also about me affirming our choice to own our love and loss and to let it be an overt part of our lives and our interactions with others, rather than going silent, compartmentalizing it or feeling ashamed about it. My tattoo has been a signal to the world that I still remember and that I welcome conversation about Juggernaut and our experiences of loving and losing her. It’s been the initiator of many conversations where other people have shared their stories of love and loss, so it’s brought more connection and meaning into my life.
The hand is the actual size of her hand.
The broken/ open heart represents both our broken-heartedness at losing her and our commitment to live this and every other challenge of our lives with open-heartedness, in spite of the self-protective instinct to close our hearts.
The date is the precious day we met her, held her and let her go.
I placed the tattoo on my wrist because “wearing my heart on my sleeve” has surprisingly been one of the greatest sources of healing and strength over the past months.