Tattoo artist uses ashes to help clients remember loved ones

ANCHORAGE, AL (KTVA/WCMH) — A tattoo artist known simply as Miss Judy is putting a unique spin on helping people grieve.

“It’s really nice to help them, that’s for sure,” Miss Judy told KTVA. “It’s very emotional. It’s hard sometimes.”

While every person that walks into Miss Judy’s parlor has his or her own way to remember someone they’ve lost, some are making a special request: Using their loved one’s ashes as part of the tattoo.

“You’re getting very, very, very tiny amount in there, but you are getting the ash,” Miss Judy said. “And that’s what makes people happy.”

Dayna Durr, a mother of three who lost her 15-year-old daughter Jordyn because of a drunk driver, found that using her daughter’s ashes a part of a tattoo was the perfect way to help her cope with the loss of Jordyn.

“She came from my body. I gave birth to her. I created her. And now that she’s passed and her physical self is no longer with me, the ashes can signify her returning to my body,” Dayna told KTVA. The part of Dayna’s tattoo that uses is a black silhouette of a mother and daughter shaped like a heart.

“The placement of it I put just so that if — it could be symbolic, could be silly on my part,” Dayna said. “I liked it so that I could hold it to my heart.”

Miss Judy sees her job as a dual role: part artist, part therapist. And her clients say it works.

“We all have to develop our coping strategies throughout life, and this is one that really helps me to feel good about keeping her memory,” Dayna said.

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