Nothing says 'rest in peace' quite like preserving your dead relative's tattooed skin

"The barbed wire? Or do you mean the 'daddy's lil monster'? Those were actually both tattoos on my grandmother's body.

"Oh, wow. That piece, it's so unique. Where did you get it?"

"The barbed wire? Or do you mean the 'daddy's lil monster'? Those were actually both tattoos on my grandmother's body. She loved Suicide Squad, so she got that on her lower back. She was a feisty one! We decided to have her tattoos removed from her flesh and preserved after she died, and then we framed the embalmed flesh on the wall in her memory."


Well, apparently you no longer need to simply imagine having that fun, light-hearted convo anymore thanks to one Cleveland, Ohio business.

Father-son duo Michael and Kyle Sherwood recently spoke to the Daily Mail about their tattoo preservation business, Save My Ink Forever. Morticians by trade, the pair now preserves and frames the body art of the deceased for their families to treasure after their deaths.


Two years ago, the Sherwoods developed a super-secret process for preserving tattoos using "skin donations" (please hold in your gagging noises appropriately). From there, they've been able fulfill about 100 orders a year starting at around $1600 a pop, framing everything from flowers to skulls.


Once a family decides they'd like to hold on to their newly-deceased loved ones' ink, they contact the Sherwoods. Save My Ink Forever then sends a tattoo removal kit and instructional materials to the family's chosen funeral director, who takes care of the removal. The tattoo is put into a dry preservative and shipped to Save My Ink Forever, who takes three to four months for its full preservation process. From there, the company then pairs each tattoo with a custom frame using UV technology and ships it back to its corresponding family.

If that sounds a little bleak or alarming, apparently this sentiment from Kyle Sherwood is meant to appease you.

"Think about what cremation is," Kyle told "You're lighting a person on fire and then keeping their ashes in a jar, if you break it down like that. But you don't think of it that way. You think of it as symbolic. Symbolism of who the person was… Really it's a matter of perspective. It's a matter of how you look at it."

To be fair, plenty of people are looking at Save My Ink Forever as a viable, comforting option for memorializing and honoring their loved ones. The company Facebook page has over 600 likes and an average of five stars when it comes to reviews.

"This is an awesome new idea, great for so many in so many different ways," one fan wrote in 2016. "Mike has shared with me so much research and classes. He is, to be, the go to guy for this art work. I am very impressed."


And more recently, another reviewer wrote about how she had her late husband's tattoos preserved after he passed suddenly.

"I'm forever grateful to have his legacy to pass on to his kids," she commented.

Not to mention, the company isn't open to any and all tattoos.

In order to "maintain integrity," they won't preserve tattoos from the face or genitals. They also only accept tattoos that have been professionally done, as opposed to in jail or at home. Not only could chemicals possibly destroy low-quality art during preservation, the Sherwoods don't find it professionally beneficial to accept any and all tattoos.


Instead, they want to keep the process sacred. For his part, Kyle Sherwood already knows which of his tattoos he'd like to preserve – a drawing of three embalming tools etched onto his leg.


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