I’m so excited to share this today! The Petersen Family is my first feature in a new blog series I’ll be sharing titled “Let’s Get Real.” As a Utah family and wedding photographer, I meet so many amazing people. Their stories touch my heart and teach me so much! For a while now, I’ve wanted to start sharing my clients’ stories in deeper and more personal way than I have before. This series is how I’ll be doing that.
It’s not a small thing, asking people to be vulnerable and share what’s truly in their hearts, but I know it’s those personal feelings, private struggles, and individual triumphs that will truly touch others and bring us closer together. I want to share my clients’ stories in a way that is authentic, meaningful, and real. I hope these posts can help us all connect a little, feel a little, and realize that we’re not alone in our battles! Whether we know each other or not, the internet is a place where we can come together and cheer for one another. Whether we’re making headlines or just making it through another day as a human or as a family, we’re all doing something worth celebrating and we all have wisdom to share. I’m so excited for this series and to share these gorgeous images of the Petersen Family at the Utah State Capitol
The Petersen Family’s story is such a powerful one! I’ve learned so much from Jordin and I’m so grateful for her willingness to open up and share her heart. She lost her husband, Devin, in a horrible car accident just before Christmas in 2018, leaving her very suddenly as a single mother to their young daughter. She answered my questions with a love and raw honesty that really touched my heart.
Question: What’s unique about your family right now?
Answer: Well, our little family is not your typical dynamic. We are missing our dad and husband, so it consists of just our little mommy, daughter duo.
Question: What made you choose to get pictures at this time?
Answer: From the time my husband and I got engaged, I was always adamant about getting pictures every year. My extended family, however, hadn’t gotten an official family picture in four years. We had one scheduled the day after Christmas of 2018, but my husband passed away on the 23rd and we were never able to get those photos. This year, I wanted to make it happen for my mom so that she didn’t feel any more regrets when it came to pictures.
Question: What do you hope for your family in the near or distant future?
Answer: Healing. Both myself, and my parents + siblings have experienced so much heartache over this past year. I hope that somehow, someway, we can all keep moving forward and healing our broken hearts. I also want my little Lyla to know that her mom was strong and made it through the darkest time of our lives.
Question: What’s been your family’s biggest challenge lately?
Answer: Navigating how to move forward. The future is so unknown for my little bestie and I, and it seems so daunting having to face it without our favorite guy. Trying to figure all of that out, even just day to day, is overwhelming.
Question: How are you dealing with it/how did you deal with it?
Answer: I take things day by day. Or try to, at least. I have to remind myself that grief is a process, and a very long one. So allow myself to feel it all, ask for help when I need it, snuggle my baby constantly, and keep my husband’s memory close to my heart so that I can have the strength to keep going.
Question: What’s something your child/children does that makes you the most proud?
Answer: Lyla is so resilient, and has the biggest heart. She is the definition of sunshine and sweetness. My mama heart swells with pride as I watch her get up and try again when she feels discouraged or can’t figure something out, when she makes a new friend or willingly asks to share her toys, and when she shows love to everyone around her.
Question: What’s something you’re doing right as a parent right now?
Answer: My Lyla will never have to worry or wonder if she’s loved. I pour my heart and energy into her. There are days where I feel like a complete failure, and I constantly worry about whether or not I’m doing enough for her. Especially since I’ve had to take on both parent roles. But I know that she knows how much I love and adore her. There hasn’t been a single day since my husband passed away that I haven’t gotten myself out of bed and taken care of her. She’s always been my first priority.
Question: Grief is something that is difficult for a lot of people to talk about. I’m sure many people want to help and support you but don’t know how. What can other people do to serve you, love you, and be there for you during this time?
Answer: I often times have people tell me, “I’ve been thinking about you, but haven’t wanted to over step.” I don’t ever want anyone to worry about that. I love when people reach out and check in. I love when they talk about Devin and genuinely ask how I’m doing. In order for grief to not be a difficult subject, it needs to be talked about. I think, too, one of the hardest aspects of grief is the loneliness. So to have people reach out in any form—whether that be an act of service, a phone call, a friendly text—it all helps that feeling of loneliness not seem so heavy.
If you enjoyed this, leave a comment below thanking Jordin for sharing her heart! She’s inspired me in so many ways and I’m so grateful to know her! Grief is a difficult topic to talk about for a lot of people. If you have a story you’d like to share and you’d like to be featured in a “Let’s Get Real” post, please message me!