Throughout the initial chapters of the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close the reader is introduced to Oskar and learns of the tragic loss of his father in 9/11. Oskar uses various methods to aid him in coping with his loss. Oskar "invents", or comes up with new concepts in his mind as a way to stop himself from thinking about certain events or ideas. In additions Oskar clings on to the little he has left of his father. Most importantly the home phone containing messages his father left on the day of his death, which Oskar replaced and remains the only person to even know of the messages. Oskar also uses repletion fairly often and plays his tambourine constantly when going through daily life.
Other members of his family however chose to deal with their loss in different ways. His mother for example, attempts not to dwell on her loss and move on. Oskar seems indignant with this method, confronting her on some occasions. His Grandmother on the other hand clings to Oskar and plays a huge role in his life always looking out for his safety and wellbeing. Oskar in return attempts to console his grandmother in multiple ways, viewing her in a similar light as to that she sees him through. Wether it be through helping others, moving on, or holding on to the past Jonathan Safran Foer expresses the need for a coping mechanism when dealing with tragedy or loss.