I’ve been meaning to make this post for a while now, but I just couldn’t come up with the words to say. At first, I summed it up to me not knowing Aron as well as other Star Trek fans. It then turned into a thought that my focuses were residing elsewhere with the stresses of my recent move overseas. But those things weren’t the roots of my silence, and certainly not valid enough reasons to say nothing. Thinking back on it now, it honestly just had to do with the fact that I was so shocked. I didn’t feel as though I had enough time to even process how on earth this could have happened.
I was on a day out in Okinawa with my husband when I heard the news that Aron was in critical condition. I said prayers and immediately shared the information with the community. I was checking my phone frequently to see if any updates had been posted, but I also wanted to respect Aron’s family during such a trying time. When we stopped for lunch, the news came to me that he had passed.
Over this past week, I have seen such an outpouring of love from the Star Trek community in regards to Aron’s passing. I’ve been taking time to read as many of the posts as possible. Each is penned with such genuine compassion for a truly wonderful individual.
I can remember the first time that Aron ever interacted with me on Twitter. My heart was so joyful not just in the fact that he had seen my words, but that he really took the time to respond and engage with me. I felt seen and heard as a Trekkie, and that is one of the most amazing feelings. That’s something that Aron always took the time to do—something I could tell that he was really passionate about. He even was kind enough to reach out to me through direct message on occasion, because he truly was interested in my thoughts and wanted to know what I had to say. Receiving that care and concern from a Star Trek great is incredibly humbling.
I can remember the first time I ever saw Aron at a convention. Despite my rather bold personality, I can get rather nervous at conventions. I’m always worried I won’t know what to say when I see the individuals that have inspired my pop-culture passion, and such was true with Aron. I kept telling myself to go over to the table and at the least say hello, but alas not. I’d always say that I’d catch him the next time. What a fool I was.
I saw a rather interesting comment in one of the memorial posts for Aron on Facebook that I wanted to address here. I won’t name the individual or include the comment verbatim, but their thoughts revolved around how wrong it was to commemorate Nog as well as Aron. It wasn’t a discussion that I took part in, but any consideration about the topic itself was quickly quelled by exclusive footage of Aron released by The Deep Space Nine Documentary team. In the footage, Aron compared Nog’s journey to his own life. He explained that the two coincided on many occasions, and how playing the character helped him overcome his own personal trials.
What a gift we were given in Aron being a part of Star Trek—a vocal part of the community. His voice and his smile will be so profoundly missed, yet forever cemented in our hearts.
I’ll end with something Aron said in the footage I referred to above. My heart broke upon hearing the words. When asked about “what he had left behind” during Star Trek Deep Space Nine, he said that he wasn’t ready to let it go. Star Trek had become a constant companion for him, as it has for so many of us. He didn’t want to let go of such wonderful experiences.
We weren’t ready to let you go either, Aron.
You will forever live on in treasured memories.
Our Captain Nog.