Steve Jobs’ Sister Reveals His Final Words

The New York Times has published a touching eulogy for Steve Jobs by his sister, the novelist Mona Simpson. It’s one of those pieces I have not stopped thinking about. Sure, it offers a glimpse into Jobs’ rarely-seen-before private life, but that’s not what’s caused me to cry repeatedly. I think it’s more how Simpson manages to paint such a vivid, in-your-face picture of death. She spares no detail like the fact that her powerful, larger-than-life brother was desperate for a simple piece of ice, or that his breathing became “severe, deliberate, purposeful.”

When news broke of Jobs’ passing on October 5, we wrote about this man’s groundbreaking inventions and his profound influence on the world. We also pointed out that while the public mourned the loss of a great innovator, his family mourned the loss of a husband and father plain and simple. Simpson’s eulogy takes this notion one step further; she reminds us not only of the fragility of life but also of the value of family.

It’s this line that really pushed me over the edge:

“His three daughters remain unmarried, his two youngest still girls, and he’d wanted to walk them down the aisle as he’d walked me the day of my wedding.”

And this:

“Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.”

She then reveals her brother’s final words: “OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.”


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