When I returned back to China from my father's service in the US, I brought some of his ashes with me and scattered them in Shanghai. But I kept a little bit with me, because I had a plan. I had seen a tattoo program several months ago where a man had his wife's ashes mixed with the tattoo ink and then had her portrait tattooed over his heart. I wanted to do something along those lines for my father.
The day after Christmas, I found a little tattoo parlor near my home and told them that I wanted some touch-up work done on some existing tattoos and I also wanted to add some light rays radiating out of my father's star. Ok, no problem, they said. One more thing, I said before we started the process, I want to add some of my father's ashes to the ink.
They were definitely not thrilled, saying it was unhealthy and unhygenic. I countered by saying that it was a common practice in the West for people to get memorial tattoos this way :-P. After several minutes of reassuring them, the proprietors finally agreed and let me sprinkle a tiny pinch of my father's ashes in the ink. The light rays are very simple, just six ling extending out of a star, but I think it's really cool. People look at me a little strange when I tell them, but for me, it's the most personal tattoo I have, and it was done for all the right reasons.