A black heart tattoo located anywhere on the body usually indicates grief or mourning, according to Tattoo Johnny. The addition of another symbol can emphasize the heart's meaning.
According to SearchBodyArt.com, people get black heart tattoos to memorialize the loss of a loved one or a catastrophic event, such as 9/11. Those who request these tattoos often have the heart tattooed above or below the deceased individual's name, or they include an additional symbol. Common symbols for remembrance tattoos include angel wings, crosses and flowers, SearchBodyArt.com notes. Any non-whimsical heart design can be used for a black-heart tattoo, but tribal styles are especially well-suited.