Chicago Fire 11×04 “The Center of the Universe” is a hard episode to watch. Episodes about grief always are, especially when they’re done well. Because grief is a lot of things. It’s not wanting to get up in the morning. It’s being polite with people offering condolences, even when all you want is to rage and cry. It’s not asking for what you need, and often, not even truly knowing what you need, because when it comes down to it, nothing feels like it can or will help.
It’s the fact that some things do help — even when a part of you doesn’t want them to, because how can they? How can you move on? How can you be better without the person you lost? How can you smile again?
Why do you deserve to?
There are no answers to these questions. I’ve lost a fair bit of people close to me and I still have none. And Violet isn’t at the point in Chicago Fire 11×04 “The Center of the Universe” where much will truly comfort her. But Kelly Severide — a character that knows loss firsthand — is right …if anything can help, even a tiny bit, it’s distraction and people. Your people.
It’s not a cure-all. They can’t make it better. You will still break down, at the oddest moments. You will still feel like your heart is being carved out of your chest with a rusty spoon for more hours than you will not. You will still catch yourself fantasizing about how you could change things, bargaining with a higher power for one chance to fix it. But you might also find a few minutes a day where you are not thinking, and little by little, even a few moments where you don’t feel like your life makes no sense.
And that’s a lot more than you would have believed was possible while you were laying in bed, by yourself. Little by little, that will help. There will always be an emptiness. You will just make it part of you. Adapt. Learn to exist without that piece of your heart. But loss …that never truly heals. That’s part of the journey. Understanding that. Learning to live with it and somehow …moving forward anyway.
Loss makes you rethink life
Violet is the only one that truly lost Evan, in a personal way, but loss still makes people reconsider, well …life. The way they live it, the things they do, and the people they spend their precious seconds with. That’s what happens with Wallace Boden in Chicago Fire 11×04 “The Center of the Universe,” and it’s why Kelly Severide knows exactly when to push someone that he hasn’t ever been particularly close to.
Grief, in general, is a very personal experience, and yet it’s also a universal one. Most people will, at one point or another, understand grief, even if they don’t understand your specific grief. And when you’ve been there … when you’ve lost someone, you know that there are no right words, but the worst thing you can do sometimes is just …not say anything.
Violet got help this hour. She got people. But that isn’t enough, because that’s just never the entire story. Grief isn’t linear, and grief isn’t a thing you can just deal with in one episode. If the show is going to tell this story, and they have to at this point …well, they have to tell it right. With its ups and downs. With the moments where it feels like the pain will never get better alongside the moments when it’s easier to breathe. They have to treat it with respect, and not as a stepping stone to something else.
I’m not ready to forgive the show for the decision they made — a decision nothing will ever convince me was the right one. But I will respect a well-told grief story if that’s what we get. Please, let that be what we get.
Things I think I think:
- Someone hug Violet, please. And don’t let her go.
- I might be dehydrated from all the crying.
- Boden in this episode is very, very relatable. He is also mourning, in a way. And he feels guilty. All of that is normal. We all process loss in different ways, and it doesn’t even matter that he wasn’t as close to Evan as Violet was. Loss is still loss.
- Yes, Severide, yes. You can help.
- I love Stella and Sylvie’s gift. Food does help, especially because, sometimes …you forget to get it yourself.
- Oh, Violet. Evan’s life matters even if this man doesn’t make it. I promise.
- We get it, Carver has no one and he’s going through shit. We just don’t really care right now. Maybe try us later?
- Casual Stellaride sharing about their day will never not work for me.
- Man who knows when to shut up so he doesn’t get in trouble with his wife is a smart man.
- “One of the many reasons you are my perfect man.”
- It hurts that we didn’t get to see the Hawkami date from those pictures. IT HURTS.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago Fire 11×04 “The Center of the Universe”? Share with us in the comments below!