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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Watson

An Unexpected Journey

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

I Am The One Who is Mourning

I went on vacation mid-August with my husband, my daughter, my in-laws and our two nieces expecting to get out of the fog and funk I've been in all summer following my dad's passing four months ago. I was looking forward to being happy, happy, happy spending quality time with family and soaking in the magic of Chincoteague and Assateague. And, truthfully, I did enjoy so much of our time on the island. It's a spectacular place. Amazing sunrises and sunsets, gorgeous beaches, wild life refuge, dolphins, bird life, wild ponies. We enjoyed biking, swimming and boogie boarding, reading, quiet time, eating, playing board games and cards late into the evenings....Our vacation was in so many ways relaxing and wonderful. Most of the time I felt more at peace than I had in months...

Sunrise over Oyster Bay and Assateague Island.

However, as so often happens, SoulCollage® led me on an unexpected journey...

I brought my SoulCollage® card making materials with me because I hadn't made many cards over the summer and finally felt like I was ready. So one evening after most everyone had retired early to bed I camped out in the spacious dining room of our lovely vacation rental house and went to work. Pictured below are three of the cards I created (The fourth is at the beginning of this post...)

As usual, SoulCollage® led me to the place I needed to go rather than where I wanted or intended to go. SoulCollage® got me out of my thinking left brain ("I'm going to be happy! I am done with grief! From this time forward I will get back to my usual productive self! I am OK!) and into my feeling intuitive right brain ("It's ok that I'm still sad. I miss my dad. It's ok that I'm still grieving. I need more time. This is hard. I'm not ok.") Somehow all of that stuff that was locked up inside me came bubbling out in these cards and allowed me to express my grief in a way that I hadn't been able to up until that evening.

I recently shared the following post about the above cards in our SoulCollage® Facilitators Facebook group:

I came to Chincoteague Island with the intention of creating bright, colorful cards celebrating joy and life. But when I lay out my images and supplies...dark and somber images keep making their way into my hands and onto my cards. My subconscious and the Universe obviously have other plans for my card making this week in this beautiful place. Apparently still deeply grieving the loss of my dad and still finding my way to work through it.

When I shared this post with my fellow Facilitators they reminded me of why we do SoulCollage® and why it is so helpful to share what we do with others. So much collective wisdom! Every one of these thoughtful, powerful responses elicited "Yes!" and "Of course!" and "Why didn't I see that?" from me.

As Seena would say, the beauty is in the meaning. I find those cards very powerful. I can see the journey in them.

- Karen Haas

It may not seem or feel "pleasant", but what deep and powerful work is going on and reflecting itself in those cards. I so admire your willingness to trust what comes, and thank you for sharing it with us.

- Imelda Macguire

These look like médecine cards, healing balm for the soul .

- Jennifer Boire

Grief deserves to be seen and heard for as long as it needs to speak. Deep loving = Deep Grief.

- Laurie Hansen-Carl

Thank you for posting these lovely, powerful cards and your vulnerable testimony. I’ve found that the grief doesn’t even have to be recent to surface in this work.

- Dee Mallon

I so often find that being in a beautiful place of peace in the natural world creates a safe container that holds me securely enough that the shadow material I'm carrying can make its way out through my cards. I dearly love Chincoteague and Assateague islands. In those marshes and wetlands and beaches is a lot of fertile magic.

- Dana Knighten

I love the way SoulCollage® cards give voice to whatever it is within us that is aching to be heard. May these cards lead to the deeper expression and healing of your grief.

- Claire Perkins

It's been a few weeks since we returned from Chincoteague. My daughter is back in school. My husband is working like a madman at his full-time job and working even harder to finish his first novel. I experienced some post-vacation blues and had a bit of a relapse into my grief. However, I am coming out of that now. I'm healing, feeling more like myself, and slowly re-engaging with life.

I haven't yet done any readings with my new grief cards. I'm not quite ready for that, but I am ready to place them on the altar in my studio and to sit with them for as long as needed until the time when I'm up to hearing what they have to say.

A special thank you to the amazing SoulCollage® Facilitator community for reaching out to me when I needed it. Thank you to my friends and family for your patience and love, especially my husband Chris who has been so supportive and understanding (sorry about the's next on my list of "re-engaging" projects.) Thanks to the many Glue Nerds who kept coming to Open Studio this summer and sharing your wisdom with me. And thanks to Seena Frost for creating the powerful process of SoulCollage® and to all of the folks who have nurtured it and brought it to people all over the world.


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