There are very few TV shows that I follow, but I confess NCIS is one I look forward to every week. I never watch it when it airs on Monday night, but
I usually watch it during some down time later in the week. I think it’s the long term stories that interest me most. The ones that connect episodes and even seasons of a storyline. And like every good long running series, the recurring characters often experience complex emotions.
This week’s new episode of NCIS ends with a powerful moment between two dads who have lost a daughter. One of these grieving dads has received news that should bring some closure and peace. Instead, he feels depleted and hopeless. The other dad is further along in his grief process and offers to be a listening ear. “Tell me about Sally.”
All of us have experienced some kind of loss: a loved one, a job, a marriage, our mobility, our pre-pandemic way of life… In every case, we try to move on and start over, but we can’t. We can only live with the grief and move through in our own way and at our own pace. C.S. Lewis writes, “there is nothing we can do with suffering, except to suffer it.” (referenced in Good Enough, Day 29)
This week, we remember that life as we know it is fragile and it will change. While we can never return to what was, we can always move on toward what might be. And while we are no longer the same person, we are shaped by our past. We are formed by the change, even when it is a painful experience. We welcome a listening ear to ask us “tell me about it.” Life is fragile, but we are never alone.