Archive | July 2018

Grief throws a magnifying glass on our essential personality

“I’m pretty sure this group isn’t for me,” she said, and I felt no criticism in her voice. “You know, I’m a ‘glass is half-full’ kind of gal and, though at first I thought the supportive environment would do me good, I realize that hearing others’ sad stories isn’t really what I need. My son’s death, though tragic, has spurred me to find the lessons for me, to see how I can triumph in spite of what’s happened.”



Grief throws a magnifying glass on our essential personality. For this bereft mother, forward movement, searching for and embracing anything positive on her journey, was the most significant thing she could do.  Her natural optimism led her towards the silver lining, not the grey cloud’s underbelly. “Don’t get me wrong,’ she said, “I have plenty of ‘cry-myself-to-sleep’ nights, but I’ll be looking for the kind of support that helps me get where I think I need to go.” Her grief magnified what was essential in her character.

If we are given to anger when life goes wrong or seems ‘unfair,’ when death strikes, the clouds of rage will gather and we will storm through our grief until the clouds part again.


If we are more melancholic in temperament, we may be found isolating ourselves, brooding and despondent and depressive (often misdiagnosed as depression–the symptoms are similar). We will need the support of those who know how to commiserate without being dragged down. We will need the encouragement of those who are ‘comfortable’ sitting with sadness at length without needing to change the mood.

The successful grief journey necessitates knowing ourselves and how we usually emote. As a comforter, it means coming to know our grieving friend or acquaintance, to compare what we see in their grief with what would naturally be found in their personality. Our commitment is to respect whatever we encounter, to embrace it and to cherish it.


Would you like to talk to someone? Need grief support? Book a session on line from anywhere here.