Sheri and Patrick Leighton have decided to carry permanent memories of their son, Eric, with them wherever they go.

"It was something I had to do. It was two weeks after Eric had passed. I just found I had to do it," said Eric's father Patrick.

Patrick Leighton was not the only one who felt the need to have permanent reminders on his body. Eric's mother, sister, grandmother and two friends have also gotten tattoos.

Patrick is considering filling his arm and back with memories of his son's life. For his mother Sheri, the tattoos are also to remind the world of how Eric died.

She says "I don't want people to forget. That's my biggest thing is people forgetting who he was. To me he's always here. Everyone will see him."

The 18-year-old was killed by an explosion inside a shop class at Ottawa's Mother Theresa High School May 26 of this year. The Ministry of Labour launched an investigation but have yet to release its findings.

Tattoo artist Richard Morrissette says commemorative tattoos are common practice. "Happens all the time, most portraits are done because some passed away or someone is sick..."

The Leightons say they're not sure how they are going to get through Christmas this year. It is the first one since Eric's death.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Joanne Schnurr