In the pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Commander Sisko meets non-corporeal aliens who exist outside of linear time. They interact with him by assuming the images of people in his life, like his friends and family, and placing him in surroundings from his past. As Sisko and the aliens continue to communicate, he is persistently placed back on the ship where his wife was killed in a battle. He asks the aliens, “Why do you keep bringing me here?” indicating that this is not a moment he wants to relive. The aliens tell Sisko, “You bring us here. You exist here.”
Sisko begins to realize that he has not been able to move on with his life, emotionally or professionally, since loosing his wife several years prior. He begins to cry, with this revelation dawning on him, he mutters over and over, “I exist here.”
Since Tyler died much of my life feels like I am grasping for something that is being perpetually pulled further away. I am frantic, scrambling, attempting to grab ahold of life when he was alive, while it is tugged insistently away from me. Living with loss is a bizarre juxtaposition of realities. I have gone to work, been to parties, and traveled to new places. I did many of these things while smiling, laughing, and enjoying the time that I spent. But in my private moments I often feel like I exist on a planet with extreme gravity, so that movement is arduous and exhausting. Everything feels heavy.
There are many times when I dreamt that I could meet those aliens, and they could place Tyler in front of me again, even if it wasn’t really him but some alien rendering. I could see him smiling, hear his voice, and say a few words, even if all I had the chance to do was say goodbye, I miss you.