The Tattoo

The Tattoo

by Andrea Tam

There are many ways to process the loss of a pet.

Thirteen years ago, Adam filed for legal separation from his ex-wife and moved into a small apartment. He was lonely and had always wanted a dog, so he went to a local shelter and adopted Rocket, a female, eight-week-old, Cockapoo.

Adam's legal separation quickly turned into a brutal divorce. During that time, he felt criticized, demeaned, and demoralized. However, Rocket was the bright light in his life and loved Adam unconditionally. 

Every morning Rocket wagged her little tail, barked, and jumped around Adam's bed to wake him up. Then Adam would take a shower, get dressed, and feed Rocket. Together they would go for a walk outside. 

Outside!! Whenever Rocket heard that word, she bounced up and down. Oh, how she loved walking outdoors with Adam! And car rides?! Rocket loved riding in the car, especially in the summer, with the windows rolled down.  

One summer, they road-tripped from Chicago to Arizona and back. 

At night, Rocket looked forward to Adam coming home to feed and walk him. Together, they watched movies, and sporting events and hung out together. 

Rocket was a witness to Adam's life. She watched the ending of his first marriage, changing jobs, falling in love, breaking up, moving, caring for an ill parent, getting engaged, getting re-married, becoming a parent, and so on. Over the years, Rocket stood by his side, watching and happily wagging his tail.     

Six months ago, Rocket was ill and passed away from congestive heart failure. Adam knew her health was declining, so he had arranged for her to have at-home pet hospice care. This time Adam was a witness to her life. As Rocket was leaving this physicality, Adam thought about their time together. His eyes filled with tears as he said goodbye to her, his best buddy. Rocket had been a loyal friend when he needed one. 

While Adam was processing his loss, he got a tattoo of Rocket on his inner arm. Adam wanted to carry her with him, so he asked the tattoo artist to add Rocket's ashes to the ink to make the tattoo more personal. 

The tattoo turned out better than he anticipated. Now, he can carry Rocky with her for the rest of his life.

Adam's tattoo helped him honor Rocky and process his loss.

There are many ways to process loss, like Adam getting a tattoo with Rocky’s ashes infused into the ink. If you or someone you know is processing loss, consider a gift box filled with positive rituals, care, and love. Sometimes, the simple act of giving one of our gift boxes helps someone find their way of processing loss. 

Thank you for reading,

 

Andrea Tam
Founder @ Robiins
Processing loss. One gift box at a time.™




Andrea Tam
Andrea Tam

Author




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