Bereaved mothers carry invisible scars. There is no outward indication of the hell we’ve experienced. Most people can’t look at us and know of our loss.

For a long time I wanted a visible scar. My heart exploded like a hand grenade in my chest when I learned it was  my daughter dead on the highway. Shrapnel embedded throughout my body making a deep breath impossible. It exploded inward with no physical damage to see.

I wanted a deep angry red scar over my heart. I needed people to know I lost my child and it nearly killed me. These days, I haven’t felt the need for a scar as acutely. I have, however, felt the desire to have myself marked in reference to my loss.

So I got a tattoo. A line of poetry my daughter wrote, in her beautiful handwriting, runs the length of my left forearm.

“She is here in the beginning and there in the end”.

I know Becca is with me. Always. My tattoo will remind me of this when I am struggling. When I’m overwhelmed with grief. When I don’t think I can survive one more day without her.

I run my fingers across the tattooed skin, feeling every word, because it’s so new. Eleven words that give me comfort every time I read them. They do more than that however.

When someone asks about my tattoo I get the chance to talk about my child.

And that’s all I really want.

 

I'm a mother, artist, and writer. A decade ago I lost my daughter. I find writing, and painting, heal me. Sharing my story of loss and healing lightens what I carry. And, hopefully, my words help another along the way.

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