View of Washington Monument from Arlington Cemetery
In 2014, our family lost my husband’s oldest brother to a sudden heart attack. Of course there was sadness, loss and regret for not being able to connect with him more often.
As I sat in church today, I thought about how we grieve for our loved ones who have passed. This seemed like a good opportunity to examine how the four True Colors temperament types experience and manage grief.
In dealing with grief, the Gold personality jumps into action. Golds are the ones who will create a structure around the event in their attempt to make sense of what has happened. Golds will schedule travel plans, write and publish the obituary, plan the funeral or memorial service and essentially handle all the details.
- During this stressful time, Golds may get too linear and may become inflexible and controlling as they seek closure and it may look like they are hurrying through the process.
Green personality types may attempt to examine why their loved one passed—asking what happened? … Why did my uncle die? … What could he have done to prevent the pre-mature death?, etc. Greens may try to console others by providing facts and data about what may have contributed to the death. Their language may come across very “matter-of-fact” or dry, devoid of emotion. A
- Green personality will feel the loss deeply, but expertly hides it, giving others the impression that he or she does not care.
The Blue personality type will be highly emotional and their harmonious, tenderhearted nature will task them with the desire to cry, hug and kiss away their loved ones’ grief. Blues’ compassionate nature helps them find the right words to say and they want everyone to feel good and to be happy again.
- The Blue personality may turn to religion and spirituality for answers. Blues innately will offer food, cards, flowers, and help to the point of exhaustion.
During the grieving process, the Orange personality will lend their energy and spontaneity to the family. Oranges are likely to pull out a guitar and provide on-the-spot, unplanned entertainment at the memorial service. Oranges may tire quickly of too much discussion of details and may push for non-traditional arrangements so they can move on.
- During this stressful time, it may appear that Oranges are scattered and self-centered as they attempt to bring optimism and humor to the situation.
Grief is a process that profoundly affects the human condition. Recognizing the temperaments in family members and friends as they cope with the death of a loved one will help everyone navigate gracefully through this sad time.