This shoot was so special in so many ways. I’ll be honest – the past couple weeks have been really hard on me as I’ve been dealing with what this time of year brings and my emotions being all over the place. As a lot of you know, my mom fought brain cancer and passed away three years ago in March. April 30th is a tough day as it marks the day that I had a miscarriage and we lost our first child. And, May is hard due to Mother’s Day and mom’s birthday being on the 13th. It’s been a whirlwind, but coming back to this shoot is bringing me a sense of peace and will be a continued reminder that although grief is a constant up and down battle that never really goes away, God continues to gives us the strength and hope we need to get through it, He will always rescue us, and we are not lost to it.
I wanted this shoot to display what grief feels like – the weight, the sadness, the feeling of being alone, and not being able to pull yourself out of the darkness. But, also show the freedom that can be found in letting go, overcoming these negative emotions, giving it all to God in prayer, and embracing joy, hope, and purpose again (and again). My hope is that we all remember that grief is something most if not all of us go through, and that we continue to build a community of encouragement, support, and stepping in when we see someone having an off day or struggling. Words are great, sometimes actions are even better. We are all in this together.
My sister chose her tattoos as ways to feel connected to and honor mom after she passed, so I wanted to highlight them. The peonies represent strength, honor, beauty, and love – things that perfectly described who mom was and how she raised her children. The message on my sister’s shoulder is something mom ALWAYS told us – often many times in the same day, and is her actual handwriting. She never ever stopped telling us how much she loved us, and I will always be grateful for that. Water – whether lake or ocean – was an element that always brought so much joy and peace to mom, and we have SO many memories of visits to Superior and the north shore with her that we knew this was the perfect place to do this shoot.
“You are not hidden
There’s never been a moment
You were forgotten
You are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen
I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you.”
Photos // Myself and my sister, Karly Wiek
Dresses // Three Bird Nest (https://www.threebirdnest.com/)
Florals // Farmgirl Flowers (https://farmgirlflowers.com/)