Struggling with Loss

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IMG_0538Samantha Jamrozik
~for my brother

I am an 18 year old girl struggling with the grief of my older brother’s suicide. I’ve always told myself that if I get a tattoo, there has to be a good story behind it.   Currently, I have two very meaningful tattoos that put a smile on my face every time I look at them.

The first tattoo I got is a wrist tattoo the night after my brother’s funeral. He had this same tattoo so it means the world to me because it is on his body, as well. The tattoo is three initials: his, my mom’s and my dad’s. On his wrist he had mine so I needed to get something to connect us forever. These past couple months have been a huge struggle without him. He raised me as much as my parents and he was there for me through everything. When I found out he to took his life, I was devastated. Every time I look at my wrist, I know he’s got a mark of me, too, in the same place.

IMG_1554My second tattoo is a little more personal. It is a beautifully designed phoenix bird with a lotus flower springing out of the top. I chose my lower neck for this one. For four years I have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. My brother is the one who helped me realize that life is beautiful if you just stop and look around. Then he unfortunately fell into the same trap he got me out of. Even though this tattoo is for me, it’s because of him that I had the courage to even get it. The phoenix bird stood out to me because it burns to ashes when it is in harm’s way and then is reborn into something more powerful and unique. That basically describes my life; anything that tries to knock me down, will only make me stronger. The lotus flower is significant because it grows above everything ugly and is beautiful. So to me that pretty much means rise above the bullshit.

Life becomes more and more beautiful after every time you succeed. People who judge my tattoos should walk a day in my shoes and see if they’re still even standing.


Copyright © behind-the-ink, Nancy Perlson