Special education major commemorates Sandy Hook victim with lighthouse tattoo

Dylan HavilandGeneral Assignment Reporter 

Lauren Sarna is a sophomore and special education major. Her tattoo is in remembrance of Ben.

Can you tell me about your tattoo?

“I think I got it in December of 2013. I got it for a six year old boy who passed away at Sandy Hook which was December 2012. He had a passion for lighthouses; he knew everything about lighthouses. It was just something he really liked, so I got a lighthouse with the Sandy Hook colors and his name.”

What was his name?InkedCanvasMarch

“His name was Ben.”

What was your connection with Ben?

“I was his babysitter and camp counselor.  I met him when he was two and a half and we got really close at camp. I started babysitting him, so I saw him almost every month. I knew him well.”

You are a resident of Newtown?

“Yeah I live in Sandy Hook which is in Newtown.”

As a community, how have you been handling this tragedy?

“We do a lot of types of community service and I work on a lot of gun safety advocacy. I’ve written a lot of essays for papers and met with senators, which has helped to prevent basically what happened to us to happen to other communities.”

InkedCanvas2MarchCan you tell me a little bit more about the lighthouse?

“I went to the tattoo artist with a picture of the lighthouse that had a heart in the center which I felt represented both his life and lighthouses which he loved. [The tattoo artist] just added color from there.”

One of the other things you mentioned was the photos that you take, can you tell me a little about that?

“I’ve been to three different lighthouses, two in Connecticut and one on the Jersey Shore, and basically whenever I travel to different lighthouses I take a picture with my tattoo and the lighthouse in the background. So its almost like whenever I go to a lighthouse we’re bringing him with us to see the ones that he maybe didn’t get to see. That’s how we like to think of it.”

Is this journey through the lighthouses therapeutic for you also?

“I think so. We think it was kind of meant to be because basically what a lighthouse is is it shows you where to go and how to get through darkness. So it was perfect for everything that happened and dealing with it.”

Why do you feel tattoos best represent lost loved ones?

“I think that when someone passes away you want something that will always stay with you or something that will constantly remind you of the person. I felt that this will be something that’s always with me and carrying a piece of him with me wherever I go.”

Photo Credit: Dylan Haviland

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