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  • Writer's pictureJessica Schaffer

Surrender and Re-Constellating After Loss: an Inside Look at a Words of Wisdom Card

Updated: Sep 27, 2023



This is the image that launched the inspiration behind The Chrysalis Imagery. It came to me, complete with the words, in the wee hours of the night just days after the loss of my long-time mate. And it would not leave me alone! Not until I found a way 9 months later to draw it out. It was the first inspired image I created once I discovered that I could draw. And the feeling of relief and healing that came with seeing it fleshed out beyond my inner imaging of it, was profound. That was the moment that I realized there was something new asking to express through me. And I had to stretch into exploring what that prompting was all about. Little did I know it would lead to a line specializing in encouragement, inspiration, and words of wisdom cards.


This image captured the overwhelm I felt as a new widow. And these were the words ("No matter how untethered and alone you feel, there is a deeper mystery holding you") that bolstered me in those early months of unfathomable grief. I think of them as encouraging words for widows and really for anyone who is struggling or who has experienced adversity that shakes them to their very core, forcing them into states of deep surrender and unknowing.


I spoke about the experience of this image coming through recently in an interview I did for The Dougy Center's Grief Out Loud podcast with Jana DeCristofaro. If you haven't had a chance to listen in, please check it out here: https://www.dougy.org/news-media/podcasts/reconstellating-after-the-death-of-a-partner If you listen, you will learn much more about me, my process, and my journey through the fire and into this new expression which you know as The Chrysalis Imagery line of greeting cards and inspired images. If you resonate with what you hear, please pass the link on to anyone you think might benefit from listening.


One thing about grief...it is hard work. And it's even harder to attend to when we are doing it in isolation. It is vital that we have spaces that normalize the fact that we all experience adversity and loss. That reflect back to us this simultaneously simple and complex truth: what we're facing is impossibly difficult, and we can also navigate really hard things. Sometimes hearing other peoples' stories reminds us of what is possible.


And in fact, all of the messaging in The Chrysalis Imagery greeting card line is about doing exactly that: normalizing the complexity of life. Reminding us that we are doing okay even when things feel messy and broken. Encouraging us that this is the delicate and even precious work of being human.


You can find two different versions of this card in the online shop. One version with words, the Deeper Mystery card (pictured above). And one version without words, the Supported Card.


I hope you'll tune in to the podcast to hear more! Until next time...


Image of announcement for The Dougy Center's Grief Out Loud Podcast, episode 249.  Words of encouragement for widows and anyone struggling or navigating loss and adversity.

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