MBTI Type: ESFJ
Madeline took her daughter’s death as an opportunity to establish a group for others who have lost their children, so they can express their feelings in a safe place without judgment surrounded by people who have faced similar loss and need emotional reassurance. Her gentle, compassionate way of coaxing Howard to open up includes inviting him into the group, and urging him to express his feelings, but also reassuring him that he does not have to, unless he’s ready. As the story unfolds, we learn that Madeline is his ex-wife, who is abiding by the card he sent her the day they divorced expressing a desire to become “strangers again”; she knows that’s the best thing for him, so she pretends they have never met. Unlike Howard, she has coped with their loss in a practical and efficient manner; by accepting that death is part of life and using methods to cope and grow through it that has worked for others in the past. She even references established facts and statistics when talking about her own loss (“74% of couples divorce after they lose a child”). She has changed nothing about her house since the divorce and their loss, and continues to revisit and relive her daughter’s death. Madeline intuitively senses that talking to and yelling at the abstract concepts will help her husband, but ultimately tries to ground him in reality by asking him to confront the past and the truth, so he can move on. Her inferior Ti shows in her not questioning his “visitations,” simply accepting them and translating them through Fe-dom judgments (this is good, Howard… engage with the abstract concepts, challenge them, talk to them).
Enneagram: 2w1 so/sp
Madeline took her own grief, and channeled that into creating a group where others can come discuss their loss and find healing together. She’s very good at monitoring the group, making everyone feel included, and urging them to heal. She can be a bit pushy with Howard (for obvious reasons), but also reads his emotions well enough as a 2 to pull back. She focuses on group dynamics, on being a leader within the group, and in helping and appealing to everyone around her on a continual basis. Her 1 wing allows her to intellectualize what’s going on, makes her willing to step back and give Howard his space (out of respect, and a sense of duty) and also a strong sense of moral direction.