For many people, tattoos are simply a decorative addition to the body. Something that will maybe be a conversation opener, or just something that will make them look more badass. Then there are people like Brad Kearns, a 27-year-old father, who got tattoos in memoriam of his stillborn son.
Kearns wrote in a Facebook post for his parenting blog that he got these tiny hand prints tattooed on his chest in honor of his stillborn son, Buddy. Buddy died some years ago, and Brad never wanted to forget his firstborn son, so he got tattoos of Buddy's hands around his chest.
In the post Kearns said, "The tattoos are an exact copy of our little boy's hands right down to the actual fingerprints. I got them done after his funeral before returning back to work." This devastating story has since been shared thousands of times; the reality of being a parent and the depth of loss are themes we can all connect to.
Kearns has since had two sons and celebrates life with them every single day. But he never wants to forget his first son for the rest of his life, and the hands are a visual reminder of the heartbreaking loss he suffered.
He recalled the first time he realized that he was a father and the responsibilities fatherhood entailed:
"That moment you make your silent promise. A promise to protect them ...
To care for them. To give them your all. A promise to be the best parent you can be." - Brad Kearns
Hopefully other parents see Kearns' message and are inspired to be the best parents they can be.