When a Type A personality grieves, it will take her by surprise. She is focused; she is controlled. Grief is an outlier to her previous existence.
She may float in protective numbness for a while. She may ignore attempts to get her interested in her “old” life. She may seem lost and unfocused. She may seem angry. Inside, she is processing. Inside, she is drowning. These feelings are all uncontrollable. These feeling are so foreign.
When a Type A personality grieves, at some point grief becomes her job. She finds old focus and determination. She reads books and attacks her grief with her previous energy.
She may jump on the funeral arrangements. She may focus with precision on a level of perfection. Every item will be perfect — every flower, every song — exactly as needed to honor her loved one.
During this time, she may not cry. She may even appear to be completely okay, almost her old self. (This is a lie). She will focus on these arrangements in the same way that she used to focus on the rest of her life. This is also important. This is her way of honoring his life.
This isn’t her, though. This is her ghost. She hasn’t yet acknowledged grief isn’t a project or a task to be solved.
When she finds interest in something outside of grief, it will be her own choice. It may be work or school or home. It may be summer migrations of butterflies. It maybe won’t make sense to you. But it’s important. It’s her choice. Please let her be.
When a Type A personality grieves, she is often surprised by her own feelings. She may not understand the urge to scream at 10am on a random Tuesday. She will push it down. She will try to please everyone. She will think that she can be herself again. She’ll be surprised to learn her priorities have shifted.
When she finally returns to her “normal” activities, she will do her best to seem normal again. She will ask for the same workload, try to work the same long hours. She will want to avoid anything that brings up Feelings; she won’t want to cry in the place she is supposed to be professional and strong. Because of this, she will both resent when people bring up her loss, and also resent it when they don’t. She’s not used to an environment she can’t control.
When a Type A personality grieves, she will make so many mistakes. She will become frustrated when her carefully proofread document is found to contain multiple errors. This is not like her. She will not cry. She will apologize. Inside, she will doubt herself. Inside she feels worthless.
She understands that grief is tiring, but she tried to make allowances for that. She wishes she had come back to work part-time. She said no to projects that she previously would have devoured. She’s doing the best that she can, and she hates that it isn’t outstanding. She hates understanding this might be her new life.
When a Type A personality grieves, and finally gives in to grief, she feels useless. Work used to be her refuge, whether paid or volunteer. She was the woman who got things done. She realizes that woman is gone. She realizes she lost two people, and one of them was herself.
When a Type A personality grieves, grief will eventually become part of her life. She will open to it; allow it to flow around her. She will learn and grow and incorporate.
She acknowledges that grief is never ending. She starts a Blog.