24 Jul Rachel Tattoo
Rachel, who died last year, is commemorated just under a hammer and sickle, and opposite an ‘Om’ sign. At first Bob kept a coffee table memorial with a photograph and flowers to honour his beloved of many decades. The walls are still alive with some of Rachel’s paintings; and on the mantelpiece, photographs hark back to her wilder days of travel, and radical politics alongside Bob. She still remains close to his heart, on his left bicep. He has also commissioned a local potter to make a plaque for the garden wall. This will continue their tradition of non-conformism, as a non-religious way to remember her life, and the important place she held in their family. For many of us, there is no longer a set way to remember those who have died. We can choose our own ways to mourn, to mark each significant date, to make space for our responses to the absence of loved ones. I love Bob’s characteristically thoughtful approach – a tattooed portrait, as a significant way to mark the pain of his loss, and the plaque to make a dedicated place to remember.