43 Emotional Memorial Tattoos to Honor Loved Ones

Memorial tattoos are a unique and personal way to pay tribute to someone special who is no longer here. For many, tattoos are way to show off their style, but tattoos can also express feelings. A tattoo can help keep memories alive long after someone has gone. Tattoos can honor the person and help you remember the good times. We have found 43 emotional memorial tattoos that will be a beautiful tribute to any loved one.

1. Memorial Tattoo Idea

Our first tattoo is a beautiful piece that features a bird and a quote. The quote reads “She lived and laughed and loved and left”. This is a tribute that says their loved one had a zest for life. It is a design that remembers the good times but also acknowledges the loss.

2. Handwriting Tattoo

When we lose someone, we try to hold on to them and remember them. A handwriting tattoo can be a lovely way to do this. It allows you to have a piece of your loved one with you forever. This tattoo design features a word out of a hand-written letter. It is a beautiful memorial tattoo design.

Handwriting Memorial Tattoo

Source: @suncreamqueen

3.  Coordinates Tattoo

The next tattoo on the list features coordinates of a father and daughter’s favourite place. A design like this is a beautiful way to remember someone special. If you were thinking about a tattoo like this, you could get the coordinates placed anywhere on your body with any picture.

4. Always in My Mind

A quote is a lovely memorial idea. This tattoo features “Always in my mind, forever in my heart”. The quote is a way to express that you will always remember the joy and love that someone brought to your life. It is a stunning tribute. The birds are a beautiful touch.

Always in My Mind, Forever in My Heart Memorial Tattoo


5. Memorial Tattoo for Dad

When choosing a design, consider creating something that is personal to your loved one. This tattoo has a fishing theme to remember their dad. Ink like this will evoke memories of the times you had together. The quote is both emotional and beautiful.

Memorial Tattoo for Dad

Source: @inkmaine

6. Memorial Tattoo for a Child

There are no words powerful enough for the loss of a child. If you have lost a child and you want to remember them and mark their passing, consider a tattoo like this. It is a stunning design that shows the love between the parent and child.

7. We Only Part to Meet Again

The idea of meeting loved ones again provides great comfort in times of loss and grief. That is why a tattoo like this is a perfect choice for a memorial tattoo. It is a comforting phrase that will help you through a hard time.  You could have a design like this placed anywhere on the body.

We Only Part To Meet Again Memorial Tattoo

Source: @ciaraoharaxo

8. Memorial Tattoo for Grandpa

Here is a stunning memorial tattoo for someone’s grandpa. The design features a grandpa and granddaughter in the sunset. This tattoo is heart-warming and emotional, it shows the love between the two. Something like is a unique design that will keep a loved one’s memory alive.

9. I’ll Be Missing You

Next, we have a beautiful arm tattoo with roses and a phrase. The phrase reads “I’ll be missing you, until the day we meet again.” This is another design that will provide comfort during the hard days of grief. You could have a design like this on other places on the body too. Make it personal by having your own fonts and roses.

I'll Be Missing You Memorial Arm Tattoo Idea

Source: @m_inni_

10. Memorial Book Tattoo Idea

Here is a tattoo that features a beautiful phrase. It reads “The chapters may have ended, but the pages still remain.” Something like this makes a great memory tattoo. It would also be good if you or your loved one enjoyed books. You could even just have the quote.

Memorial Book Tattoo Idea

Source: @joanndilley

11. Memorial Tattoo for Mom

If you liked the handwriting idea, this next design is for you. This tattoo is a different style and in a different place. It features a replica of her loved one’s signature that writes “Love Mom”. It is a simple, emotional and powerful piece. You could have a signature tattooed anywhere on the body.

Memorial Tattoo Idea for Mom

Source: @shanally

12. Memorial Tattoo for Grandma

Like big and bold tattoos? Then this memorial tattoo is for you. This stunning thigh ink features a heart, an angel wing and a quote. The whole design ties in together perfectly because the quote reads “half of my heart is in heaven with my angel”. It is beautiful tribute. You could personalize it with a name and date.

13. Memorial Tattoo for Son

If you are looking for a tribute for a son, then consider an elephant design like this. Losing a child is the worst a parent could go through but with a tattoo like this you can have a beautiful reminder of them. The balloon could have a different color too, you can always personalize it.

14. Memorial Thigh Tattoo

Memories are precious, and this next tattoo expresses that perfectly. It features a stunning tree with the quote “When a loved one becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure”. This is a beautiful quote and will be a reminder of all the good times you and your loved one have shared.

15. Memorial Rose Tattoo

Prefer traditional tattoos? Then this could be for you. This beautiful old-school rose, bird and scroll features the words “fly on home”. It is a gorgeous ink that could be customized to suit your memorial. You could have any quote put on the scroll. A design like this would look great on anyone.

16. ‘Too Beautiful For Earth’ Tattoo

Our next tattoo has an emotional phrase. It is a wrist tattoo with a date, feather and the quote “Too beautiful for earth”. Something like this would be a stunning tribute to any special person. It expresses how loved the person was. Personalize it with your own date and feather design.

17. Memorial Design for a Child

Here is a stunning piece of art for a child’s memorial. This arm design features a child in shaded black and white ink with watercolors and butterflies. It is a very emotional design that would make an amazing tribute for your loved one. You could customize the colors and design to make it personal to you.

18. My Father, My Hero

A simple memorial tattoo like this one would make a beautiful tribute. It features just “My Father, My Hero” along with the dates. The font used is gorgeous and the design is a reminder of the great man he was. This one celebrates the person’s life from beginning to end.

My Father My Hero Memorial Tattoo for Dad

Source: @mattied55

19. In Loving Memory Tattoo for Mom

This next tattoo idea would suit anyone. It is a stunning design that was inspired by their family’s holiday spot. A tattoo like this celebrates the good times and will make you think of the happy memories of that place. It is a personal tribute with endless design possibilities as everyone’s favourite place would look different.

In Loving Memory Memorial Tattoo for Mom


20. Memorial Quote

The idea of a loved one watching over you can bring great comfort in times of loss. If this is something you like the idea of, consider a tattoo like this one. It reads “As long as you’re in the sky to protect me, there is no one on earth that can break me”. This is a very emotional set of words. You could personalize it with the name too.

21. My Favorite Hello, Hardest Goodbye

Our next pick would make a beautiful tribute to someone you lost. It would be perfect for a friend, partner or someone very close to you. It sums up how meeting this person was one of the best things and how difficult losing them is. You could a quote like this tattooed anywhere on the body.

22. Memorial Quote Tattoo

Next, we have this stunning feather, birds and quote tattoo. The feather suits the wings quote perfectly. It is a very emotional but beautiful piece that would be a perfect tribute to any lost loved one. You could have any feather design to make it unique to you.

23. Dog Memorial Tattoo

The loss of a pet can be heart-breaking, as pets are one of the family too. If you have lost your four-legged friend consider a tribute tattoo. This features a paw print and heart design with a lovely quote. You could re-design this in many ways to suit your style.

24. Floral Grandpa Tattoo

Next, we have a tattoo to remember a Grandpa. The design features wilted flowers with the word Grandpa above. It is a beautiful tattoo that expresses the sadness when we lose someone special. You can recreate this tattoo or use any type of flower. The name and font above can be changed.

25. Beautiful Quote and Butterflies

The next tattoo features another beautiful quote. This is a thigh tattoo that reads “Those we love don’t go away. They walk beside us every day”. A quote like this can bring great comfort when you have lost someone you care about. The butterflies also have special meaning because in some cultures it is believed that a butterfly carries the soul of those we have loved and lost to heaven. So, overall this is a very powerful and meaningful piece of body art.

26. Baseball Memorial Tattoo

Many memorial tattoos have a design that represents the person who has passed away. The next tattoo is a great idea for those who enjoyed sports. This design is inspired by how the person and their father loved baseball. It also has their name in the middle. A tattoo like this pays tribute to the fun times that we share with people in life. Recreate this or you can have any sports ball.

27. Initial with Angel Wings and a Feather

If you are looking for a small and beautiful memorial tattoo, then this could be perfect for you. This design features an elegant initial with angel wings and a halo. It is a stunning way to remember someone. You can try a similar design to this or you can have the person’s full name, but this will be a much bigger tattoo.

28. Unique Finger Print Tattoo

This next tattoo will really keep the memory of the person you have lost alive. Here we have a heart shaped tattoo that features the fingerprint pattern of the person who has passed away. These tattoos are very popular for couples, family members and friends but we think this would be a beautiful way to remember someone too.

29. Single Rose and Roman Numerals

The next tattoo is stylish and gorgeous. This design features a single black ink rose with roman numerals underneath. The numerals are a beautiful way to have the date because it makes the tattoo unique and personal because not everyone will know what it is. You can recreate something like this or choose a different flower, you can also add a pop of color.

Single Rose Memorial Tattoo

Source: @erikatattooo

30. Memorial Tattoo with Flowers and Dates

Looking for a pretty and bright tattoo? If so, this could be perfect. Here we have two beautiful flowers in different colors. There is also a date near each flower. This is a lovely way to remember two people because there are two dates. There is also a small paw print at the edge of one petal which could also represent a pet. This is a unique design that can be created to suit you and who you want to remember.

Memorial Tattoo with Flowers and Dates

Source: @emmajrage

31. Small Memorial Tattoo for Dad

Next, we have a simple and stunning design. This tattoo features the word Dad in an elegant font. At the end of the last letter, there is also a beautiful flying bird. This is a gorgeous memorial tattoo and it can be recreated with any name. A tattoo like this can also be placed anywhere on the body because the design can be created bigger or smaller to suit the area.

32. Family Photo Tattoo

Photos are one of the best ways to remember someone. You can be reminded of special days and memories that you shared together. This next design has been created using a photo. As you can see, the tattoo is like an artistic version of the photograph. This is a very unique and personal way to remember someone special. You can use any photo for a tattoo like this.

Photo Tattoo


33. Personalized Angel Wings

If you want a larger piece of body art, then you need to see this next design. Here we have a back tattoo that features beautiful angel wings and a halo. The wings also have been personalized and the halo has dates on it. This is a stunning tattoo and is a such an amazing tribute to someone special. You can, of course, have a smaller version of the design created if you want to.

34. Elegant Memorial Tattoo

Next, we have a very elegant and simple design. The tattoo features a name and date that is written in a stunning font. You can have any name for this. Keep it simple or you can add other designs such as birds and butterflies. Either way, it is a gorgeous way to remember a friend or loved one.

Elegant Memorial Tattoo


35. Grandad Tattoo with Birds and a Quote

The next tattoo is just beautiful. This design features a quote that reads “If love could have saved you, you’d of lived forever”. There are also birds, a box and the name grandad with two dates. This is a very personal and meaningful design. You can have tattoo like this created that represents someone you love by maybe adding different animals that they loved in life.

36. Personalized Floral Butterfly

If you love the butterfly tattoos, then you need to see this next idea. Here we have a memorial butterfly. The butterfly is normal on one side and the other wing has a beautiful flower design. There is also a name below the butterfly and it has stunning jewelry charms dangling from it too. This is a very pretty and elegant idea. You can recreate this with any name and you can also use any flowers for the butterfly wing.

37. Cowboy Boots and Hat

This next memorial tattoo is unique. The design features cowboy boots and a hat. This could be perfect if someone wore these items while they were alive. You can also be inspired by this and use different items to represent the person. So, if the person wore high heels every day or sneakers, then you could use those instead.

38. Memorial Angel Tattoo Design

Next, we have more of a traditional memorial tattoo. This one features a stunning angel with the date underneath. A tattoo like this is a beautiful way to pay tribute to someone because it can show that the person is now at peace. Recreate this or you can add the name as well as the date.

Memorial Angel Tattoo Design

Source: @aikortiz

39. Pretty Rose and Dates

Earlier in the post we featured a rose and date design. If you loved that idea, then you may like this one too. Here we have another single black ink rose but this one has the date the person was born and the date they passed. It is a very pretty tattoo. You can create similar tattoo to this or you can add some color and maybe the name.

40. Traditional Anchor Tattoo

Tattoo designs have changed so much over the years but you can still get that traditional look too. Here is an example. This tattoo features an anchor with Mom and Dad wrote on it. A design like this is perfect for someone who wants a unique way to remember those who have passed. An anchor like this can be designed with any name.

Traditional Anchor Tattoo

Source: @tat2theo

41. Beautiful Angel Wings

Next, we have another angel wing tattoo. This time the design features two large wings with a name in the center. It is a stunning piece of body art and is perfect for those who want a comforting tattoo that shows someone is at peace. You can have a design like this placed anywhere on the body.

42. Stunning Lake Inspired Tattoo

This next tattoo is one of our favorites because it features all the things that the people loved in life. The tattoo was created in memory of grandparents who loved nature, the lake, gardening and cats. All of these things have been used to create a stunning lake scene. You could create such a unique and personal tattoo by using this as inspiration. Think about their favorite places, animals and more.

43. Memorial Bird

Maybe you would like a less obvious memorial tattoo without the dates and names. If so, this could be perfect for you. Here we have a back tattoo that features a beautiful bird. Just by looking at this you would not know that it was a memorial tattoo, so it is perfect for those want to remember someone quietly without the whole word knowing. You can recreate this or choose a bird that the person loved in life.

We hope you have found a beautiful design for a memorial tattoo.

About the Author

Rebecca Puttock


32 thoughts on "43 Emotional Memorial Tattoos to Honor Loved Ones"

  1. Halie says:

    My mom has just passed and I want to get a memorial tattoo. I don’t know what I want though. All I know is she was the world to me and her death is hitting me really hard. Getting tattoos makes me feel better so I’m gonna get one for her but I don’t know what yet.

  2. Brenda says:

    I lost my mom 20 years ago and I still miss her like crazy. I lost my best friend to suicide 4 weeks ago am going to get my first tattoo for him. He loved karate and I think I and going to get his name written in Japanese. God bless u during this hard time. U will see ur mom again.

  3. Floey says:

    I lost my mum in 2015 and then my pops in 2016. I have memorial tattoos for both of them. My only advice would be to wait at least 6 months before you do. Fresh grief does terrible things to your impulses. Take your time and really think your decision through. So it’s about memory and not loss.

  4. Jenna says:


    Thank you for that advice, I really needed it.

  5. Lisa Dobbs says:

    My mom passed away August 29, 2018. I miss her so much!! I would like something special!! Any suggestions??

  6. Kay says:

    I am 18 years old and I am looking to get my first tattoo, in memorial of one of my best friends who passed away when we were 15 from cancer but I can’t find any idea that I believe will do her memory justice. If anyone has any ideas of what I can do, please leave an suggestions 🙂

  7. Carol Patterson says:

    Hi Kay, if you have anything handwritten from your friend, the tattoo artist can write something in your friends handwriting!

  8. Kirsten L Kinney says:

    My 12 year old son Passed away on Nov 16th 2018. I am going to get my first tattoo in memory of him I have some ideas but not sure what to do.

  9. Pam P says:

    I lost my mom in 2002. I decided I wanted to get my first tattoo to memorialize her. It took me 10 years to decide what design I wanted. I decided to incorporate her three favorite things – roses, pearls and hummingbirds.
    I suggest to all of you who are considered a memorial tattoo – take your time, decide what means the most to you-what makes you think of them when you see or hear it? Then look at different tattoo artists and find one whose style you like.
    Last, but not least, decide on the size and placement of the tattoo. If I had to do it over again I wouldn’t have my tattoo on my shoulder where I can’t see it except in the mirror.

  10. Michelle Grimmius says:

    My husband lost his twin sister unexpectedly 2 years ago in November. When we would get together, she played old maid with our kids. She would always put OM card higher in her hand and my son would take it every time. We would laugh and he would get so mad. My son got a tatt of four cards fanned from the OM deck, with the OM higher. I sgree, take your time and think of a great memory to tattoo!

  11. Janet Castellano says:

    I lost my son on 4/14/2018. I want to get a tattoo in his memory. I know what I would like but I don’t know anyone who can draw it for me. I want 2 blue clouds with his face coming through the clouds. This will be my first and last tattoo.

  12. Dusti says:

    All of these tattoos are beautiful & each of them are very personal & meaningful to each person who has had something tattooed on their bodies as a way to commemorate, honor and remember the loved ones they’ve lost. But tattoo #20 has a misspelling. It should say “You’re instead of Your”… I would go back to the tattoo shop & have them fix this for free!! That was a mistake on their end! It’s apart of their job as a tattoo artist to make sure everything is spelled correctly & execute every tattoo with perfection!… That’s one of the things that makes me nervous about going to get a tattoo done.. It’s bad enough i constantly have typos in my texts i don’t need them on my body forever! ?

  13. Kazol says:

    I have lost my husband last week. Who was 20 years older than me. He looked after me like a father. Bringing me every to school like so many. I would like to get my first tattoo for my love. Any one have a idea

  14. Carrie says:

    I lost my mom on my birthday of all days 2 1/2 years ago. Most devastating day of my life that I used to considering being a happy day celebrating my life. To lose my mom on the exact same day she brought me into this world exact 32 years later. I felt like I was being shredded apart from the inside out. Tattoos have always helped me through all my hard emotional times. I didn’t wait to think about a tattoo idea. I just went. My dad gave me a original signature document of my moms signature 2 days later it was on my arm and it is one of my favorite pieces.

  15. Tracey Stinson says:

    I never wanted a tattoo before until i lost my 16 year old niece Chloe she passed away last year on april 15/2018 i don’t know exactly what i want yet was thinking maybe a Lilly because her mom often referred to her as Lilly because her middle name was Lillian, This would be my first time getting a tatoo would like to get it on the inside of my forearm I always want her story to be told

  16. Chasity Terry says:

    My mom died a year ago and when she was dying she told me that she wanted to be creamated I got upset and told her I wouldn’t have a place to go talk to her and that it was to hard for me to just pour her in the wind she said to me that she could hear her dad and if I listen closely I would always be able to hear her voice I am in the tatoo shop and I need ideas on a saying to go with a cross to remind me of that please help

  17. mel says:

    in 2010 I lost my grandmother to cancer. it hurt but I was young and didnt really understand. this last year within 6 months I lost 3 grandparents all unexpectedly. Losing all of them so suddenly really hit me hard, and knowing that I wont have them by my side for the rest of my life.
    I am still young so it seems impulsive but I want to get a tattoo to commemorate all of them because they played such a big role in my life. I’ve been thinking that I want all of their signatures with the dates under them but I dont have my heart set on this one specific design. any suggestions?

  18. Jessica says:

    I lost my son in 2015 at the age of 10 to leukemia. On my inner forearm I have a tattoo that reads: For the love, For the life, For the fight. To me, this is not only for him, but also all my family and friends I have lost to illness.

  19. stephen says:

    I lost my mum on 26th feb 2019 at 13.15pm it hurt some much we was close
    I was my mum,s carer I was holding my mum when she past away

    am going to get a great tattoo for my mum

  20. Jeanne Bump says:

    Please please please double check your tattoo for spelling and grammar errors There are several in the tattoos above I think it makes it look really cheap

  21. Sherry says:

    I lost my son 3 years ago to suicide. I’m looking for something w/ a dragonfly and his signature. I miss him like crazy

  22. Amber Nichole says:

    I lost my mama February 3rd 2019 . 13 days before my 27th birthday. It’s been one of the hardest times in my life. Before then we’ve had a long road of drug addiction and it’s one of the main reasons she is gone. We’d had a fight a few hrs before an she took a walk little did I know it’d be her last walk an my last time seein her. She was struck by one truck which threw her into oncoming traffic where she was then struck by another truck which initially took her life. I have been sober since it’s been a long 6 months but she’s the reason for my sobriety I’d like to commemorate her wit a tattoo any ideas

  23. Joe says:

    I lost my dad in 1999 and I still miss the crap out of him and i won’t to get a half of a slave of a memorial pace done in the memory of my dad

  24. AKelly says:

    My daughter was born stillborn in March of 2000. I can only imagine how beautiful she would be today coming up on the age of 20. Would she be in college? Would she be a musician and an artist like her father? Would she have brown eyes like mine? Would she love nature that I use to share with her when I was pregnant? I love the tattoo with the date held in the palms of a persons hands. Thank you for sharing these beautiful memorial ideas.

  25. Neo says:

    I lost my wife to asthma attack who was only 26 years couple of months after we got married. she had three tattos before her passing and was going to get another one more. she always told me that it is her way of expressing her pain from losing her mother while she was still 10 years old. And to be honest i did not understand until she passed on. Now i want to also to a tattoo in her memory because only now i understand what she felt. I miss her every single day of my life.

  26. Joy says:

    Lost my sister 10 years ago. I was 9 she was 3. My life literally fell apart didn’t wanna leave the house hated everything and everyone. Today is her birthday and I haven’t found a way to say goodbye. Tattoos were the answer and my goodbyes.

  27. Gabriele says:

    Lost my 33 old son just heading home from work by an 18year male1 year in July. I’m in pain, thought I get a tattoo not good with needles but nothing the pain he went through. I’m 61 , 12days after his angle anniversary Love him heaps and want something in memory of him. My first tattoo ?

  28. Ian says:

    I want to get a tattoo for my brother I lost him last year in December to suicide and I was the one who found him it devastated me I miss him soo freakin much still and I wanna get something special but I just cannot think of anything:/

  29. Donna C says:

    I lost my younger brother when he was 5 years old. I always said that I would name my son after my brother and I did. My son is now 22 and I really would love to have something showing the love I have for my son and the memory of my brother. I just want something simple but meaningful. Any ideas would be appreciated.

  30. Les says:

    Where is the memorial book tattoo on the body?

  31. Monique says:

    Hi! Glad you like it. It’s a calf tattoo.

  32. Rita Watson says:

    I lost my youngest son June 15th of this year due to a motorcycle accident. Very unexpected and so hard to accept. He was very special to me. We had talked about getting mother and son tattoos. We didn’t get too.
    I still want to get one in his Honor. I Love My Son and Miss Him Terribly. Can’t wait to see him again, until then I want His Memory to Live on through Me.

    8/15/90 6/15/21

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