Brad Kearns has two striking tattoos on either side of his neck. The tiny hand prints are a tribute to his stillborn son “Buddy.”
The daddy blogger and father of two shared the image along with a touching post on Facebook in early September (when Australia celebrated Father’s Day), and it has since gone viral, garnering over 1,500 likes and 151 shares.
“These are the hands of our first son. His name was ‘Buddy,’” writes Kearns, who describes the hands as “positioned like an eternal cuddle.”
Writing the post as he laid on the floor of his two sons’ bedroom, Kearns reflects on his years of fatherhood.
“Do you remember the first time you touched your child’s hands?” he asks. “You rubbed your thumb across the top of their fingers as they hold onto yours. You grab their entire hand and holdout in your fist. You give it a little squeeze to let them know that you’re there; and you sit in awe of their vulnerability.
“And at that moment you make your silent promise. A promise to protect them. To care for them. To give them your all. A promise to be the best parent you can be.”
He explains that “Buddy” wasn’t always going to be his son’s name but “it seemed right at the time.”
“From that day forward I was a dad. The fact that we couldn’t take him home with us didn’t change a thing,” he writes. “The fact I would never teach him to kick a ball didn’t matter. We held his hands and we called him our own. He was the first little boy I ever made that promise to.“
He also recalls how moved he felt on the Father’s Day after his loss when he received a card and a few text messages.
“I was still a dad. It meant the world to me. It made my promise real,” he writes.
Since sharing that post, Kearns describes the response he’s received as “overwhelming.”
He says he shared the intimate post to create awareness and hopes others will do the same.
“If you have a story. Don’t wait for the right time… Create your own awareness. Give yourself permission,” he writes. “If you connect with just one person, you’ve created awareness. And that’s a big deal.”
What do you think of Kearn’s tattoos? Let us know by tweeting us @YahooStyleCA.