Father of bullying victim Amanda Todd gets tattoo to commemorate daughter
Published Saturday, November 17, 2012 10:26PM EST
Before friends and family gather to remember bullying victim Amanda Todd at a public memorial in Coquitlam, B.C. on Sunday, the teen’s father honoured her in a more permanent way.
Norman Todd decided to get a tattoo.
“I figure this is the best reason I could think of for getting my first tattoo or any tattoo,” he said.
Hundreds are expected to join the mourning Todd family to celebrate the young girl’s life, which was cut short after the teen took her own life last month.
The 15-year-old committed suicide in October after months of torment, verbal abuse and blackmail.
The troubled teen became an icon of the growing anti-bullying movement, after she posted her plea for help to YouTube. Her video has since been viewed more than six million times.
In the days leading up to the memorial, Norman Todd told CTV British Columbia that although he had never considered getting a tattoo before, he knew his daughter wanted one badly.
“We were going to do it together. And I just wanted to finish what she had started,” he said.
The teen had been asking for months to get a special tattoo for her 16th birthday. The tattoo’s design featured a simple, but powerful message: “Stay Strong.”
While the words came from the song of one of her favourite pop stars, Demi Lovato, Todd said the words had special meaning for his daughter.
“She wanted it to remind her to be strong. To actually have courage,” he said.
As Todd prepared for the tattoo, he said the moment felt right to fulfill Amanda’s wish.
“It actually feels really, really good and special for me to get it now,” he said.
And after some deliberation, Todd decided to mix some of Amanda’s ashes into the tattoo ink.
“I wasn’t so sure about that. It felt off to me in the beginning and I thought about it for a night and I thought ‘If I can have a part of her with me that would be great,’” he said.
The pain of losing his daughter still hits Todd hard.
Earlier this week in an interview with CTV British Columbia, he shared fond memories of his daughter.
“When things were going good in her life, the good times we had together, she was just a blast,” he said. “(She was) high-spirited, wanted to do everything, wanted to explore, try everything … I miss that terribly.”
He also spoke of his desire to see those who tormented her brought to justice.
Among those alleged to have bullied Amanda is a cyber-stalker, who is accused of spreading a nude photo of her in an effort to extort her for sexual favours.
“It makes me mad, it makes me hurt. I would love to see this person brought to justice,” he said.
A team of investigators is working on the case, but so far no charges have been laid.
In the meantime, the freshly tattooed Todd advises parents to watch out for their children and to always be there for them.
“Watch them closely,” he said. “If they do have any issues that could be of concern jump all over them and be there to support them.”
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Michele Brunoro
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