Tatted: Starting the conversation about death

This is Tatted, a podcast telling the stories behind people's ink.
Graphic by Kat Owens

KAYLA DRAKE | Host

Anastasia Busken was 14 years old when her dad died of pancreatic cancer. Craig Busken left behind his wife, son and daughter.

“Every day in the morning you forget, then you remember and relive it all over for a second,” she said.

But before he died, Anastasia spent two years intentionally building memories with him. She looks back on those years fondly, actually calling her dad’s death a ‘blessing in disguise’ because it changed her family dynamic. 

“I would never change my life for anything,” she said.

Growing up, her parents told her and her brother not to “get their hopes up” that her dad was going to survive. In return, she was able to focus on spending time with her dad and not dwelling on his disease. 

Her dad had a wicked sense of humor. For instance, he made a habit of speeding past cops and whenever he was pulled over, he pulled the cancer card, just to see if he could get away with it.

Craig didn’t leave behind many possessions, but Anastasia did keep his license.

“I really wanted something to commemorate him by,” she said.

That is why at 16 years old she tattooed her dad’s signature on her side. Listen to the full episode to hear Anastasia’s view on starting the conversation about death and the lessons her dad left her with.

Anastasia kisses her dad, Craig's cheek during their last family photo shoot. One thing she said she will never forget is her dad's lightheartedness. 
After her dad died, Anastasia decided to get her dad's signature, using his license as a template. Since getting the tattoo, she said she feels like her dad is apart of her.
Soulmates. That's how Anastasia's family and friends describe her parent's relationship. Anastasia said she now is more grateful for her family since her dad's death.
A freshman at Lindenwood, Anastasia is considering switching her major and loves iced caramel macchiatos from Starbucks.

Tatted comes out every Thursday and does not reflect the opinions of Lindenlink staff or Lindenwood University.

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About Kayla Drake 135 Articles
Kayla is our multimedia producer, so basically all things video and podcasts. She prefers to cover human interest stories because she believes we learn best by hearing personal testimonies of grief, passion, tribulation and activism. When Kayla is not editing or writing, most likely she is either hiking or eating. And by eating she doesn’t mean fast food, college grub, but the St. Louis restaurant scene (which is to die for). She is a proud St. Louisan and is passionate about being a part in the city's redemption. Look for the girl with the stickered out water bottle on campus and say hi.