Here is an excerpt:
Generally speaking, I'm pretty opposed to marking a death anniversary. This is something that came about as I worked at a tattoo shop and people ritualistically attempted to immortalize a loved one by having either their death date or an image of death (i.e., an angel) marked into their skin for all their conscious eternity. I spent years around this well-meaning but misguided tradition, so I feel qualified to criticize it...Please read the rest at The Bean Mines.
Right now I am looking down at my arm, which is completely sleeved in a random science-fiction/space theme, and which I started about ten years ago. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I felt Carl Sagan was somewhat responsible for my having these tattoos. Are they a memorial tattoo? No, and yes a little.
When my dad told me that Carl Sagan had finally passed away after two years of fighting a painful disease, I quietly lost it. Like people worldwide I felt he'd spoken to me -- he had been a voice, both literal and metaphorical, of the cosmos, a champion for the utterly ignored and completely spectacular universe around us. I have clear memories of being hunkered up to the television absorbing the concepts of the Doppler effect without even trying to. I opened up my tiny, spongy and nearly blank brain to him to fill, and with grace and wit he complied.