Writing without the deeply personal is not the whole story of grief. To give the whole story, to give as many handholds as possible in the steep climb of grief, we need to hear personal stories. Each Friday, I’ll post something from my own experience of grief and love. It’s an inside look at love, at grief, at life.
This week, a post on personality-type reflection, from somewhere around year two and a half in my own grief.
While I’ve been thinking about personality styles for what seems like forever, there was a point relatively soon after Matt died that the Myers-Briggs assessment circled back into my mind. It gave yet another dimension to who and what was missing. It gave me language to point to what I’d lost: I lost more than just him as a person.
When he died, I lost the one person who was most like me. The one who understood:
Someone posted their Myers-Briggs type on facebook, which made me go look mine up again.
I found it actually very comforting to remember, or to be reminded, to see my basic temperament printed out. I guess just to have evidence that I’m not making it up when I say I’m not “like” a lot of people.
INFJ, as the description says “is quite rare, less than 3% of the population.” (I assume they mean western population. Who else spends their time researching and figuring out who does what and like how?)
I have been told for much of my life that I’m “different.” Sometimes as a “what’s wrong with you?” thing, and sometimes as a “you are very special” type thing.
Wrong or special because I am different from whomever is calling me different.
That’s the way it always was.
For Matt, I was different because I was like him. I was special because we were the same. We weren’t being “different,” we were being ourselves.
When one of the three percent finds and loves another of an equally rare percentage – well, let me just say that now I have to stop typing because I’m crying too much.
Even though it is unusual for someone of my “type” to acknowledge that out loud.
How about you? Are there ways your natural temperament has made grief feel harder or less hard? Have you been looked up to or scorned by many people, and only occasionally found actual peers? What’s happened if you’ve lost those peers? Let us know in the comments.
If you’re interested in finding your Myers-Briggs type, you can get a quick assessment, with descriptions, here: