The Five Stages Of Grief When Your Phone Dies

Tatiana Kostenko / (
Tatiana Kostenko / (

My pulse is racing and the jitters have come over me like they haven’t since John Travolta wore those leather pants in Grease. My hands are sweaty and I have the feeling I’m going to chuck up my quinoa salad. Am I getting fired? Being dumped? Told I have Ebola? Sadly, no, it is a more deadly combination than all three put together.

My phone is on 3% and I have no charger.

Have you heard of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross? No, me, neither, but it is from her 1969 book On Death and Dying that the five stages of grief were born. These stages are a road map for onlookers bewildered as to the processes one goes through when mourning a tragic event. It is said that every person processes their grief through these five stages and that despite unique circumstances, the similarities are consistent.

So now that I have realized I am sans charger with a rapidly dying phone, this is how I think old Liz Kübler-Ross would physically evaluate my five stages of grief.

Stage 1: Denial

This is not happening. It’s a dream. A weird dream cooked up by those in my head clearly not born in the last 20 years. My battery will start going up again from 3% and all that was once right in the world will be at peace again.

Stage 2: Anger

Why me? Why not the old lady on the bus next to me who wouldn’t know how to use a phone if you knitted her one? If only John at work hadn’t distracted you as you were running out the door with your charger still in the socket underneath your desk. I bet John is using it now to charge his phone. It is decided we will hate John for life.

Stage 3: Bargaining

This is where we are coming to terms with our phoneless situation but are convinced we can turn to a higher power and make a bargain. I solemnly swear to stop wearing leggings as pants for as long as I live. I will not make my boyfriend sit through a double encore episode of The Bachelor. I will give you my firstborn baby girl—just let me check my Facebook notifications one last time!

Stage 4: Depression

This is the worst of the stages and where everything seems to remind you of your impending loss. Hmmm, maybe I should listen to some calming music to settle my anger. Oh, wait—my phone doubles as my music provider. OK, I’ll call a girlfriend who always makes me feel better and let it all out over the phone to her. Oh yes, that’s right—a phone’s original intended purpose was as a calling device. OK, brain, running out of non-phone-related distractions here! Deep breath. In. Out.

Stage 5: Acceptance

So it’s not that bad. Your phone is on 1% and you have no way to get to a charger. At least you won’t have to screen your parents’ calls or get constant Candy Crush updates. You feel disappointment in the pit of your stomach that Robert Pattinson’s call will go straight to voicemail, but these things can’t be helped.

You take a calming breath and do a couple of down dogs to clear your body of negative energy. You brew some tea and make a snack and snuggle on the couch preparing to bask in the glory of an unconnected world. Well, you do this for about 15 seconds until it gets old and you drag your laptop over. I mean, you’re only human and one can only resist the lure of Facebook stalking for so long. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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