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June 27, 2006



No advice, just an observation from a fellow ENFP. It seems to me that ENFP's are great at counseling everyone else, but maybe not as adept at dealing with their own feelings. The rest of the world says good grief, cut yourself a break, while we are busily wondering why we can't model "healthy grieving" for everyone else. Our expectations of ourselves in assisting others can really add a great burden on us when *we* are hurting.

I don't know if this is the case for you, but there's also the problem that so often, the "E" in ENFP allows us to reach out, but allowing others to reach in to us might not come as easily. Sometimes that "E" seems kind of like a one way valve.

Practice what you preach? Easier said than done -- for this ENFP, at least.

It will probably do no good to tell you to stop worrying about whether you're modeling "healthy grieving," so I'll tell you something else: You already are. This post displays an open, honest struggle with grief. If that isn't healthy, I don't know what is.

Shutting ENFP piehole now.


Saying that men need to be able to communicate their emotions does not entail that men (or women) are obligated to communicate all of their emotions all the time. Sharing with others and keeping to yourself are two tools in an emotionally healthy person's toolbox, and I don't see any reason to a priori declare that one of them is invalid. The reason it's important for men to learn to communicate their emotions is because they need that tool for times when introversion doesn't work well, not because introversion is itself a bad thing.

In my own most recent experience with grief, I went through an initial period of being desperate for human contact, in which I could feel the negative effects of the traditional masculine lack of skill at openness. But then I moved into a phase of introversion and immersion in other projects, which I found very comforting and liberating.


With love, Hugo, do what is best for you. We all grieve differently, and if you're like me, will grieve each death differently. You ought to know there is no one way. And like Stentor says, don't feel obligated to talk. Everyone understands.


I should have thought about how I was preaching to the choir with my last comment. Jeremy and I are praying for you always.


Look at this way . . . . you might feel like you're inadequate for modeling how to "grieve well" . . but you haven't ever had to grieve a loss like the loss of your dad before. Do you really think people are supposed to be expert models for something they're doing for the first time? I hope not!

When the part of your psyche that says "Hugo is supposed to be wise in all things" is giving you a hard, just tell it that this is a learning experience for you and to STFU. That should satisfy it. :) . Several years down the road, you'll realize that you've learned all kinds of things grieving, from the irreplacement teacher of first-hand experience. But you can't rush that process along. You have to go through it, and that takes time.

Here's my advice . . . for me, it's little things that open the door to let the grief come out. Sometimes a piece of music or a movie will open up the feelings . . . Field of Dreams, for example. But you can't make it happen. It just kinda sneaks up on you when you aren't expecting it. When it does, however, sieze the moment and let it flow. Those times will come. Just be patient, and let them happen as they will.


I agree with Carol, just let go when the time comes.


Hi Hugo,

I've been a lurker on your site for quite a while. I very much enjoy your thoughtful postings, though I recognized we may be on different sides of the aisle on some things. I popped in tonight and saw that you dad had died and your Matilida. I wanted you to know that I share your sorrow - I don't think it matters how old we get, we still need our dads - and our darling pets! What a wonderful thing that you and your dad - and Matilda too - could share so much together. All those wonderful memories are yours forever as well as carrying their love forever in your heart. But it's still so hard not to have them here. Thank you for your transparency across the miles. Just tonight I was reading the words, "blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted." I pray for the comfort of the Holy Spirit as you walk through these days, months, and years - He will not leave you. God bless you.



Dear Hugo. I have no wisdom to offer, only an unshakeable faith that you will come through this difficult time. Peace be with you.

Karl Maria


When you wrote about the E becoming an I during times of high stress, my body shivered in agreement. I have a tendency to want to crawl back into bed... forget my friends... stop going to church. I eventually come back out into the sun. Carol is right on about listening to yourself on this. And maybe some music that will soothe, or an old book-friend. I turn to Ignatius J. Reilly or The English Beat and it's like a blanket.

Love and peace to you.


No advice from here... I imagine I would react far differently in some respects to the same losses, given that I am an introvert on the best of days. I don't think you need to worry about apologies for not blogging about issues right now - as Lauren said, we understand.

Give yourself all the time you need. You'll certainly be in the prayers of many.


no need to apologize to us, hugo! just keep doing what you're doing, be present and aware, and try not to be too hard on yourself.


Look at this way . . . . you might feel like you're inadequate for modeling how to "grieve well" . . but you haven't ever had to grieve a loss like the loss of your dad before. Do you really think people are supposed to be expert models for something they're doing for the first time? I hope not!

This is so true.

When my Father passed some years ago from cancer, I was affected so deeply it really surprised me at the depth at which I grieved. Like you, I spent quite a bit of time with my Dad before he passed. I thought I was ready and could accept his death as he had accepted it but I was not. The depth to which his passing affected me really caught me off guard.

I have had many good friends die over the years. Grandparents. Cousins. Old and dear friends. I accepted their deaths as just a part of life. Part of God's plan for us. None of those deaths really affected me like the passing of my father. I was just so overwhelmed by it. Still, even after 10 years, I miss him.

None of those deaths affects you quite as deeply as the loss of a parent. And none of them do more to remind you of your own mortality.

You are in my thoughts and prayers, Hugo.


My condolences on the loss of your father and your pet. May they mothe live on in your memory and in eternal peace.

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