Study Guide

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Chapter 16

By Jonathan Safran Foer

Chapter 16

My Feelings

  • Grandma's writing about the day her husband showed up with his pants covered in dirt.
  • He doesn't tell her where he's been (you know, to dig up their dead son's empty grave), instead saying he wants to get her some magazines, which is code for "I'm outta here again."
  • He leaves, and she sits on the couch and waits… but for what?
  • She remembers the day her dad died, trapped under a ceiling… but she can't remember his last words.
  • Grandma writes a note and tapes it to the window, packs her typewriter, and she leaves. She gets in a cab and follows Grandpa to the international terminal of the airport.
  • He tells her that they dug up the grave, and he buried all the letters he wrote, along with the key to her apartment.
  • She suggests they stay at the airport forever "Not coming or going. Not something or nothing" (16.186-16.187), like the guy in that other Tom Hanks movie.
  • And we guess they do stay there. Grandma says she's typing at a table as they drink coffee and tea together.
  • Before she finished the letter, she remembers the last night she spent with her sister.
  • She regrets never telling Anna how much she loved her. She believed it was unnecessary to say it, because there would be another night.
  • But she tells Oskar that it's always necessary. She tells Oskar she loves him.