Wednesday, October 14, 2009

5 Stages

When one experiences a loss so great, so deep, that they feel they simply can't function anymore, they often resort to psychological games. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified these symptoms in her 1969 book "On Death and Dying." These coping mechanisms, the 5 Stages of Grief (aka the Kubler-Ross Model), can seize those closest to us, leaving us defenseless.

I never noticed Eddie's great love for Bella, but in the time since Katelyn replaced the tried and true periwinkle blue with a nameless cobalt beauty, his grief has been unimaginable. Here I've documented the personal struggles of myself and my car in the hopes that someday soon, we can finally move on (with our lives intact).

The Five Stages of Grief
September 26-October 14, 2009

Depression: Kate, Katelyn and I reach the car, laden with shopping bags and cringing under the steadily increasing downpour. I shove my keys in the lock and turn, but Eddie will not be moved. Several attempts to unlock the door and he gives up, but he remains mopey for the rest of the day. At one point his dejection keeps the key fixed in the ignition. I'm worried.

Denial: "My dad said the key is faulty, and I've got a new one, so . . . . And I know I said the brakes are acting funny, but they're barely jolting. I'm probably just imagining it."

Anger: Katelyn and I are on our way to Penn Station, and I can't help but notice that the brakes are now catching. We shrug it off. Pull into the parking lot. Eddie is growling at us, but he's been foul tempered for at least a week now. I find a spot, pop it into Park, and take my foot off the pedals. Eddie is suddenly, irrationally PISSED, spitting and growling, revving the engine to 5000 RPMs. Katelyn glances at me--"what did you do?"--but my hands are held defensively aloft, both feet firmly on carpet. I snag the key and jerk it from the engine, slicing through Eddie's fury. Katelyn and I lean back against the seats and glance at each other. What the hell was that? He was so frenzied I literally wondered if we would explode. I don't know what I've done wrong.

Bargaining: "Come on, Eddie," I murmur pleadingly as Katelyn places a soothing hand on the dash. "Just a few more miles and we'll be home." I realized that my eternal gratitude wasn't a sufficient incentive sometime between the brakes starting to squeak and the engine accelerating without my aid.

Acceptance: Katelyn, I think we need to play matchmaker. There's only a 50% chance my mechanic will call back, and I don't know Eddie and I can take much more.