Some of you may have noticed via the picture I posted on Instagram that last weekend I got myself a tattoo.
I'm not really a tattoo person, and don't intend to get anymore, but for me this was something more than just a piece of body. It was something of a dedication, a little tribute to Pete.
If you haven't read the story before, Pete was my hero of a boyfriend, who sadly lost a short battle with cancer five years ago. Five years to the day that I got my tattoo.
Pete was studying illustration at uni when he became unwell, and he was designing himself his first tattoo whilst he was in hospital. He spent hours drawing little zines about his experience in hospital, his friends, and memories of life before his illness. His positivity and strength was unwavering. We used to listen to a lot of music in his hospital room, he loved Death Cab for Cutie, Iron & Wine, Florence & The Machine, The Temper Trap, and most of all at the time - Mumford & Sons. We listened to their album Sigh No More on repeat.
At his funeral, they played Timshel as they took him from the church to his final resting place, and for me the lyrics to this song & the memories it captures are particularly poignant.
After his death I struggled to cope, and found myself in a pretty dark place mentally, I've talked a little bit about it here. Five years on, I'm in a much better place and I've had time to deal with the grief. But I still miss Pete, I think about him nearly every day. I decided a few years ago that I wanted to pay tribute to Pete in the form of this tattoo. I like to think he'd think it's a pretty rad little nod to him. The line from the chorus 'you are not alone in this' really resonates with me, because it's from Timshel, and because the phrase itself serves as a reminder that whatever life might throw at mean, however hard I might fall - I'm never alone in this. Be it literally, having family and friends around me to call on, or metaphorically - remembering that I have Pete up there keeping an eye out too.
I stumbled upon the work of Mara Zepeda via Pinterest a couple of years ago and knew immediately that she was the one that could create a piece of art that I'd be proud to wear on my body forever. We worked together to design a piece that I absolutely adore. I'm so thankful to Mara for creating exactly what I was imagining. I then chose Nick Griffiths to complete the tattoo as he's a great tattoo artist and has lots of experience working with fine script - I'm so happy with the result.
So that was all, I just thought I'd share the story behind it for those that were interested.
Peter John Shaw
15.04.1990 - 23.08.2010.