25+ Short Memorial Tattoo Quote & Saying Ideas


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If you are considering getting a tattoo to help memorialize a loved one, you better be sure you choose the best words and design possible. After all, making a mistake on the text of a tattoo is not quite the same as picking the wrong words for a commemorative t-shirt or quilt. 

Jump ahead to these sections:

Here are some short words or phrases to use for a memorial tattoo. Tattoos are creative ways to honor someone, but care should be taken when choosing the text. Make sure everything is spelled and punctuated correctly. Also, make sure the tattoo’s message is exactly what you intend.

Here are some tattoo quotes that would be appropriate for several different relationships. Learn how to honor your parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, and partners. 

Tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, deciding how best to memorialize them may not be the only cause of stress. Handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.

Memorial Tattoo Quotes or Sayings for Mom or Dad

Memorial Tattoo Quotes For Mom or Dad

Are you mourning the loss of your mom or dad? Losing your parents can be a heart-wrenching experience, and you may want to commemorate their lives by getting a tattoo to honor them. 

Here are some rest in peace quotes to consider using for your tattoo. 

1. “A father’s love is forever imprinted on a child’s heart.” 

Of course, this quote may be altered to fit your particular situation. You could change the word “father’s” to “mother’s” or “parent’s.”

2. “Mother, you left us beautiful memories. Your love is still our guide. Although we cannot see you, you’re always at our side.”

We know this quote is rather lengthy, which means that getting it would be rather painful. But perhaps you feel like going through a little pain to honor your mother is worth it.

3. “Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” Isaiah 57:2

Christians sometimes use quotes from the Bible for tattoos. Consider this quote for a parent who lived a good life and found peace in death.

4. “Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.”

This quote is from the poet Emily Dickinson. Consider adding this text to the tattooed image of your mom or dad. 

5. “Love is stronger than death.”

Are you looking for the most appropriate words to get tattooed on your bicep? Consider this phrase that celebrates the eternal nature of love. 

» MORE: Grief can be lonely. Create space for your community to share memories and tributes with a free online memorial from Cake.

Memorial Tattoo Quotes or Sayings for a Brother or Sister

Memorial Tattoo Quotes for a Sibling

Losing a brother or sister, especially if the sibling was taken in their prime, can forever alter your life. You may consider getting a tattoo to commemorate your sibling’s life. Here are some quotes to consider. 

Tip: If you're looking for something really unique, consider getting a tattoo made out of your loved one's ashes.

6. “Your wings were ready, but my heart was not.”

Wings are popular tattoos. Consider adding these words above or below wings or birds. Add the name of your sibling as well.

7. “She lived and laughed and loved and left.” 

If you want people to remember your sister as the vibrant person that she was, consider getting a tattoo that celebrates her personality.

8. “I’m sure his view from heaven beats the hell out of mine down here.”

Who said that your memorial tattoo can’t be funny? This phrase will help you remember your brother who died while also showing others that you look forward to a better view someday.

9. “Until I see you again.”

If you believe in the afterlife, you have some solace knowing that you will again see your brother or sister someday. Remind yourself of this truth by tattooing those words somewhere you can see daily. 

10. “Remembering you is easy. We do it every day. Missing you is a heartache that never goes away.”

Consider changing the pronoun from “we” to “I” if that gives a more appropriate meaning.

Memorial Tattoo Quotes or Sayings for a Grandparent

Memorial Tattoo Quotes for a Grandpa

Not all memorial tattoos have to be sad or depressing. If you are celebrating the life of a grandparent, use your tattoo to remind others that great things can be completed in a relatively short amount of time. This death-positive or memento-mori movement encourages people to live life to the fullest. 

11. “Gone fishing.”

Did your granddad love fishing? Instead of thinking of him as gone forever, why not think of him as on a permanent fishing trip?

12. “Forever in my heart.”

This short and sweet phrase is the perfect way to memorialize a grandparent or another loved one. 

13. “Your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever.”

Was your grandparent your guiding force in life? Consider getting these words tattooed on your shoulder. 

14. “Death leaves a heartache that no one can heal. Love leaves a memory that no one can steal.”

Hopefully, the memories of your loved one give you some solace. 

15. “The ones we love never truly leave us.”

Although the sentiment in this line is similar to the one found in quote number four, this version is perhaps less “poetic,” and easier to understand.

Tip: The quotes and phrases on this list can also make a great addition to an online memorial page that you set up to honor and remember your loved one. You can create a memorial page for free with Cake.

» MORE: Online obituary that is 100% free. Honor a loved one beyond a newspaper.

Memorial Tattoo Quotes or Sayings for a Best Friend

Memorial Tattoo Quotes for a Best Friend

Did you recently lose your best friend? Here are some quotes to consider having tattooed in honor of your companion. Getting a tattoo is a unique way to remember a friend who died

16. “Best friends on earth make the best angels in heaven.”

Do you envision your friend as looking down on you from heaven? Consider using this phrase for a tattoo. 

17. “The road to my heart is paved with paw prints.”

If your best friend is of the non-human variety, consider using this phrase for your tattoo. Add the name of your pet as well as the outline of a paw print. 

18. “If loved could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”

Consider adding the name of your friend who passed away under the text of this quote.

19. “With beautiful wings she flies.”

Feathers, wings, birds, and butterflies are popular images for memorial tattoos. Consider using a quote such as this to go with your image. 

20. “RIP”

You may want to get a tattoo for your loved one, but the cost or fear of pain may cause you to get as small of one as possible. Consider “RIP.” Only you need to know who you are wishing will “rest in peace.” 

Memorial Tattoo Quotes or Sayings for a Spouse or Partner

Memorial Tattoo Quotes for a Spouse

Your life is forever changed when you lose a spouse or partner. Here are some quotes to consider using to show others how much you miss your partner every day. 

Even though it may be challenging to consider, at some point, you may find yourself having another romantic relationship. Consider how your tattoo would make the next person in your life feel. 

21. “I thank you for every second of your life.”

Even though you may be in mourning, you may also feel deeply thankful for having had your loved one in your life. 

22. “You were my favorite hello and my hardest goodbye.”

Saying goodbye to the love of your life is devastating. Show others how you feel by getting this phrase tattooed on your body.

23. “Always.”

This one-word tattoo speaks volumes. It tells the viewer that you will forever keep your deceased spouse in your heart. It also is an allusion to the Harry Potter series. Severus Snape carried Harry Potter’s mother in his heart, “always.”

24. “A piece of me went with you.”

You may feel that you lost a limb with the death of your partner. If you feel broken from your loss, consider using this line for your tattoo. 

25. “Lost without you.”

Consider using a simple phrase that tells others exactly how you feel since losing your spouse. You may also consider a single-word tattoo, such as “heartbroken” or “mourning.”

» MORE: An online memorial is a perfect ending to honor and celebrate someone's life. Create one for free.

Other Creative Ways to Remember a Loved One

To make your memorial tattoo even more unique, you may consider looking for a tattoo artist who knows how to do cremation tattoos. Cremation tattoo artists know how to safely mix a small amount of cremated remains in the ink. This would enable you to carry a piece of your loved one with you wherever you go.

Are you not into tattoos, but are you looking for other creative ways to commemorate a loved one’s life? Why not start a tradition? Every year on your loved one’s birthday (or death date), volunteer at a homeless shelter, have a party, or jump from an airplane.

You could also adopt a pet on behalf of your loved one. Name the pet in your loved one’s honor. 

Besides using your loved one’s cremains in your tattoo ink, you could also search for an artist specializing in cremation art, custom order an urn from a store like Foreverence, or even have a memorial diamond made from ashes with a company like Eterneva.

You could also search online for a company that infuses your loved one’s cremains within a vinyl record. This would be a beautiful tribute if your loved one was musically gifted. You could make a record of them singing or playing the guitar, and you can know that the crackles of sound on the album come from the bit of cremated remains embedded within the vinyl.

Don’t be afraid to show creativity when memorializing your loved one. 

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