For some people, their tattoos tell the tale of their lives. For Cheryl Wenzel, she’ll be able to remember the stories of her late tattoo-artist husband, Chris, by removing his colorful skin and preserving it to hang on the wall, according to CTV.
“Chris wanted his skin (preserved,) I found somebody that’s able to do it,” she wrote on Instagram shortly after his death in October. “He was very special to me. His love was bigger than anyone I have ever known.”
Chris Wenzel, a tattoo artist in Saskatoon, Canada, who suffered from ulcerative colitis, died in his sleep on Oct. 28, according to CTV.
He had an impressive body of work, in more ways than one. An online gallery of some of his artwork shows detailed, fantastical tattoos of magical creatures, beautiful flowers, mythical monsters and other colorful scenes.
His body was no different. In a photo posted to Instagram by his wife, Chris shows off a full chest of tattoos, including a striking piece showing a serpent coiled across his stomach locked in mortal combat with two birds of prey. Other works cover his arms and shoulders and reach right up to his neck.
Cheryl wrote on Instagram that she had partnered with an American company called Save My Ink Forever to preserve Chris’ tattoos..
“This is the first of its kind at this large of a scale!” she wrote.
On its website, Save My Ink Forever wrote that its mission is to “help carry on a loved one’s story” by ensuring “the spirit and legacy of your loved ones can live on for generations to come.”
The company says what it does is much more special than taking a picture.
“You receive the ACTUAL TATTOO. This becomes a framed piece of art that is presented to the family in a DIGNIFIED MANNER,” the company’s website says.
Kyle Sherwood, the company’s chief operating officer, said, “You wouldn’t burn or bury a Picasso and that’s what some of these pieces are,” according to CTV. The whole process could cost as much as $80,000, according to the site.
To help with the cost, a GoFundMe page was created so people could pitch in for the preservation process. It raised about $2,300 of its $30,000 goal by Wednesday afternoon.
“A devoted husband, loving father, and talented artist has returned to the earth. Together we can unite and support the family. These funds will go towards the cost involved in Chris’s special preservation and supporting his family,” the GoFundMe says.