Love tattoos or hate them, they definitely make a statement. Some are subtle -- a tiny symbol hidden away somewhere most people won't see -- and some are emphatic -- a large and vivid representation of the bearer's story.
Kathy's tattoo is of the second variety. It's a huge, intricate, bright piece that covers the length of her arm. Its central image is a Day of the Dead-style skeleton clad in a hat and T-shirt, playing a stand-up bass. It's arresting and a little disturbing if you don't know the reason for the imagery, but when you hear the story behind it, you see the beauty. Kathy's tattoo is a memorial to her brother, who committed suicide in 2008. Grab some tissues and check out the video below.
Kathy got her first tattoo, a back piece honoring her son, a long time ago (it was actually done by reality show tattoo artist Kat Von D). She always told her brother she would never get a tattoo on her arm, but when he died, she decided almost immediately that that would be a way she could honor him.
She kept adding pieces to the tattoo, and the artist she worked with became like a therapist as she told him her brother's story, Kathy says. Her brother was a talented bassist, which is why she chose the design of the skeleton playing the bass. He died less than a year after his girlfriend was killed in a car accident, and while he took his own life, Kathy believes he died of a broken heart.
Now, she says, it's like he's always with her because of the tattoo on her arm, acting as a reminder of him and of his music.
I was especially touched because I have a brother, and while you hear a lot about the bond between sisters, you rarely hear about how close a brother and sister can be. I thought it was really sweet that she chose to honor their relationship this way.
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What do you think of Kathy's tattoo?
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