In her book, On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross outlines what she believes are the five stages of grief.
The first, denial, is where I found myself once the first 5×19 strip of squares had dried.
I reasoned that once I had soaked the four remaining strips, they would would fit together nicely. For several weeks, I didn’t allow myself to acknowledge the more intractable problem: that what had been a fairly firm fabric with reasonably tight stitches was now pliable and had visible gaps.
This stage of denial dragged on for weeks, and I continued to work on the project as originally envisioned, although with less verve and enthusiasm. Underneath my denial, I knew I had a problem that needed a solution. And while I also knew intellectually that the solution was not to do more of the same, I was not yet ready to give up my first idea of what the rug would be.
Eventually, however, I got to the second stage: anger. How, I wondered, could I have been so stupid? What had I been thinking? I had no ready answers for either question, so I bagged up the offending pieces and put the project away where I could not see it.
Here is where my grieving process veered off course, and instead of bargaining, I found myself engaging in totally unrealistic and fanciful thinking.
At one point in my life, I had small children to read to, and one book that got read repeatedly was Richard Scarry’s The Best Mistake Ever! For those of you not familiar with the story, a young animal’s mother sends him to the store to buy a variety of items which he believes he has committed to memory. However, when he gets to the store, he and his friends don’t recall the list accurately, and he arrives home with what his mother terms “party food” rather than the staples she sent him to the grocery to get. The day is saved when guests unexpectedly appear, and they then have a party complete with potato chips, ice cream, and apple pie.
For weeks, I waited for unexpected guests to arrive and save the day.
Unfortunately, the hoped for guests never arrived.