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Tattoo Ideas: Quotes on Death, Heaven, Mourning


After writing over two dozen hubs on tattoo ideas that showcased pictures as the majority of the content, I started noticing that a large portion of the comments were from people asking for ideas on what to say, not so much on how to say it. Like Lindsay, for example, who commented on the hub Tattoo Ideas: Words & Phrases and said: "I want some sort of latin script with a phrase having to do with karma." Or Jesso, who said: "I have a colourful fish on my left lower back, but next I want a script.. .. just what I don't know... something positive to remind me every day is mine, I am in control of my destiny."

The tricky thing about quote tattoos is that nine times out of ten they can't be too long. Unless you have a huge expanse of skin that you plan on dedicating to the tat, like a forearm or your entire back, you're going to need to pick a quote that's short enough to fit in a small area. A few years ago my girlfriend wanted to get something I had written tattooed on her in my handwriting. The quote she wanted was twenty-one words long, and she wanted it somewhere on her inner forearms. As she is already fairly heavily tattooed, there was no criteria such as having to get it on a place that could be easily hidden if need be. She's lucky. She ended up getting it running lengthwise down her arm next to the word GIRL that was already there. Most people don't have the same flexibility as her. Maybe your job is too professional for tattoos and piercings, or you don't want your mother to see it. If that's the case, then a quote tattoo can be challenging to find space for. And if you think you're going to fit an entire poem (unless it's a haiku) on your wrist by shrinking down the letters to a size 5 font, you're mistaken. Good tattoo artists will only let you make the lettering so small, because they know that tattoos blend, fade and bleed over time. The smaller the font, the better the chance that you'll be left with a meaningless blob ten years down the road. So although there are millions of wonderful quotes about the beauty of love, I've tried to only assemble the ones that are on the shorter side, while still being meaningful.

I went back through all 2,000+ comments on my previous hubs and tried to identify the most common themes people requested when asking for help with quote ideas. In addition to being a voracious reader, I've been compiling quotes in notebooks and journals since I was thirteen. This hub is second in a series of hubs broken down by category that started with Tattoo Ideas: Quotes on Strength, Adversity, Courage. Please, if you have any ideas or would like to share a favorite quote of yours, feel free to comment! The examples I've chosen for this particular hub may not resonate with everyone. You might read it and get nothing out of it. But my hope is that something will resonate with someone, somewhere, and the words written here will inspire you to take a step you may not have taken otherwise.





Heaven's not a place you go when you die, it's that moment in life when you finally feel alive.

Their hearts have been changed by what has transpired.

If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever. --"The Crow"

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. --Eskimo Proverb

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. --Henry David Thoreau

They say there's a heaven for those who will wait. Some say it's better, but I say it ain't. I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. Sinners are much more fun... --Billy Joel

Live in eternity's sunrise. --William Blake

Live so that thou mayest desire to live again - that is thy duty - for in any case thou wilt live again! --Freidrich Nietzsche

So as through a glass and darkly, the age long strife I see, Where I fought in many guises, many names, but always me. --General George S. Patton

It is not more surprising to be born twice than once; everything in nature is resurrection. --Voltaire

Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glint on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you wake in the morning hush, I am the swift, uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starlight at night. Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep. Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there, I did not die

Every man dies - Not every man really lives. --William Ross Wallace

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We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will. --Chuck Palahniuk

You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be. --Chuck Palahniuk

I'd rather burn out than fade away.

LIfe? LIfe? It's Death that makes life worth living for. --Aaron Howard

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. --John Taylor

The Kingdom of God is inside you, and all around you, not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me. --"Stigmata"

Of joys departed, not to return, how painful the remembrance --Robert Blair

Come to me in my dreams, and then By day I shall be well again! For then the night will more than pay The hopeless longing of the day. --Matthew Arnold

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. --Helen Keller

Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there. --Isla Paschal Richardson

To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die. --Thomas Campbell

Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. --Rossiter W. Raymond

What the heart has once known, it shall never forget. --Author Unknown

What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now forever taken from my sight, Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind --William Wordsworth



Bry on October 24, 2012:

what the heart has once know quote is shakespeare from Othello.

clifford on February 09, 2012:

heaven is like catching that frist wave it maybe small but the next wave may be your dream wave that will last til eternity

jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade on January 07, 2012:

life is like riding a bike, to keep your balance you need to keep on moving

cindy on December 29, 2011:

if i had wings i would fly up to you

i would gladly take your place if i could just see your face

j6tt6 on November 19, 2010:


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