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i consider being a father the most important, fulfilling journey i have embarked on.

my 2 children, charlotte and ben, went a long way to completing me as a person, and fatherhood challenged and rewarded me more than anything.

losing charlotte in 2012 was devastating, for me, and us as a family.

the design was something both ben and charlotte discussed having, each with a half of the tree on their forearm and then, with arms pushed together, the design would become one.

she became too ill before they could have them inked.

i asked ben if he minded me using it. he gave his blessing.

he consented to give a couple of drops of his blood which were mixed with the ink on one side of the tattoo.

the other half was mixed with some of charlotte’s ashes.

the tattoo artist was ‘honoured’ he said.

it brings my 2 children together, not that charlotte is ever far from us.

they are both here: in me.


written by carlos


uk



There have always been butterflies appearing in my life.

My childhood of lies, violence and abuse were made beautiful by the buddleia bush that invited butterflies to show me there is beauty in everything.

My pregnancy was a miracle, and I grew my own butterfly.

When my husband jumped and took his life, my daughter had a butterfly farm in her bedroom.

We thought it hadn’t worked so I put it on the balcony that he jumped from.

The next day the farm was full of butterflies and we released them over the balcony.

I searched for oblivion in drugs, I searched to fix my ugly inside.

The first time I put a crack pipe in my mouth the butterflies danced in my mind.


written by jane


uk


My tattoo is a laurel branch with 12 leaves.

It is a symbol of my son Lorenzo (his name means crowned with laurels), who was born on February 12.

I did it on my hip, at the level (I think) of my right ovary.

It is a tattoo that celebrates my fertility.

I recently had the feeling that it should evolve, so I looked for my old tattoo artist (I couldn't find him and had to go to a new one) to add three flowers.

I think the flowers are my nephew and nieces, Zoé, Hugo and Violeta.

So my tattoo is no longer just about my fertility but about my family's, about the tree. It's about inheritance and legacy.

I feel that it will continue to grow and at some point, not so far away, another branch will appear that will climb my ribs.


written by vanessa


peru