12+ Tattoos With Deeply Powerful Meanings

Some people get tattoos for the heck of it. Some people get tattoos because they are pretty, or to remind themselves of their favorite show or song. But some people get tattoos for really personal reasons, with meanings so deep it almost feels like you're intruding on their privacy when you look at them.

The people below have shared their stories and the meanings behind their tattoos, and there's no denying how amazing each one is.

"My mum passed away a few months ago, yesterday I got my first tattoo."

Imgur | jitterbug13

Her mom would leave Post-It notes around the house for her, and I think this looks like an exact copy.

"My dad died on December 15, 2016. Today, I got a tattoo."

Reddit | 42dftba

This is such a nice way to remember someone, and it's different than getting a full portrait of them.

This man got a tattoo of his son's laugh as a waveform over his heart.

Imgur | Theycallmekam

His son died of sudden infant death syndrome. What a beautiful way to hold the memory of his little boy's laugh.

This girl got a tattoo of the book her dad was reading when he passed away.

Reddit | Alltheprettyhorses21

He died before she was born, but in school she picked All the Pretty Horses to read and her mom passed along her father's copy, which was bookmarked to page 128.

This man got a tattoo of his father's handprint on his back after he passed away.

Imgur | Beerguy1984

Now his dad will always be with him, holding him and patting him on the back.

Lego isn't just for kids.

Reddit | Minifig81

"Got my first tattoo today. The big brick is to represent my big brother who died one day shy of his 40th birthday this year, in his favorite color, and the little one (hugging the larger one) represents me, in my favorite color. We always built LEGO together."

This person's dad passed away in 2009.

Reddit | Highlingual

They got a tattoo of a note their dad wrote in their second grade yearbook. He was proud of you back then and is still proud today.

This person got a tattoo of the house he grew up in.


A propane leak caused the house to catch on fire, and he lost his parents and German Shepherd in it.

"Shot heroin for 12 years. Today is 4 years clean. I get a tally every 23rd of July."

Reddit | SerCornballer

This is such a great way to stay motivated and remind yourself of how far you've come and how far you can go.

This tattoo is a tribute to a friend who died in a car crash.

Reddit | supadupame

He had dreams of becoming a race car driver and his friend got this to commemorate his memory.

This person's best friend died by suicide when she was 15 years old.

Imgur | easonsmustchange

They were in love, went to prom together, and even had a fake wedding to show their commitment to their friendship. "She'll live on in my heart forever, rest in peace sweetheart."

This is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for this artist to tattoo something with such deep personal and historical meaning.

Imgur | baldorr

Some stories aren't just worth retelling, but worth carrying on our skin forever.

A tribute to a friend.


This woman's friend was killed, so she decided to honor her memory with this tattoo that features part of a note from her friend. What a beautiful tribute.

Friends forever.

Reddit | llamalove12

This tattoo was done to honor a friend who passed away. Even though their friend is gone, I'm sure looking at this tattoo will remind them of fun times they shared together.

An important reminder.

Imgur | Yourneighbortotoro

This PTSD tattoo is an important reminder about this person's journey and their past self-harm issues. Sometimes tattoos can be a part of the healing process.

Dad's signature.


This person got a tattoo of their dad's signature nearly 10 years after he passed away. Now, they'll have a way to carry his memory on forever.

A beautiful smile.

Instagram | chopztattoo

This woman had a tattoo of her son, who was born with a cleft palate, inked on her arm.

To new beginnings.

Instagram | jacquelinew13183

This person's tattoo is an homage to sobriety, mental health, and happiness.

"This tattoo has a lot of meaning for me. Overcoming alcoholism and getting away from abusive relationships and moving forward with my life for the better."

The first blush of love.

Instagram | tattoosbyvigil

This couple had the coordinates of their first date tattooed on their forearms.

A lovely tribute.

Instagram | inkspirationuk

This person made sure their mom knew just how special she was.

A message from mom.

Instagram | courtney.m16

This tattoo serves as an important reminder to the recipient, and it's in her mom's handwriting.

Important message from a sibling.

Instagram | courtney.m16

For this woman's first tattoo, she asked her 1-and-a-half-year-old sister to draw her a heart.

This dad's message will live on.

Instagram | darkest_rainbow

Here's a daily reminder for this woman that her dad is pretty great.

Inspirational message.

Instagram | dizzydooch

This woman had the word "inspire(d)" tattooed on her arm in her grandmother's handwriting.

A reminder of mom's handwriting forever.


"A line from a letter my mom wrote me. I saved it because it’s so perfectly her. Now I have her handwriting with me forever," said this Reddit user.

A new take on florals.

Reddit | mewiwrawr

These cherry blossoms were expertly designed over the symbol for the serotonin, the neurotransmitter for feelings of happiness and joy.

A child's art project.

Reddit | jhscobie

Not all meaningful tattoos have a sad story behind them. This parent was simply inspired by their kid's art.

A reminder to check in on friends.

Reddit | gotanyants

"A text from my friend that passed away, supposed to remind me to check in on people no matter what. He was struggling with his own issues but was always asking me how I was doing... such an incredible and selfless person," said Reddit user gotanyants.

A tribute to cats.

Reddit | thequeenofcows

After going through some mental health issues, this person got a tattoo of their cat for helping them through a difficult time.

A father's lasting reminder of his son.

Reddit | 2020BigDaddy

Sadly, this father lost his son and decided to get this fishing tattoo to honor his memory. Such a touching reminder.

A tattoo that reminds us how old scars can heal.

Reddit | NiNaNo95

"Finally loving my body," said Reddit user NiNaNo95 of this tattoo, which shows a needle and thread design over scarred skin.

A house that was home for generations of the same family.

Reddit | rhhhhidiculous

This Reddit user's tattoo is based off their great-grandmother's house where three generations of their family were born and raised.