With time running short, Steve Jobs managed his farewells

“Over the last few months, a steady stream of visitors to Palo Alto, Calif., called an old friend’s home number and asked if he was well enough to entertain visitors, perhaps for the last time,” Charles Duhigg reports for The New York Times.

“In February, Steven P. Jobs had learned that, after years of fighting cancer, his time was becoming shorter,” Duhigg reports. “He quietly told a few acquaintances, and they, in turn, whispered to others. And so a pilgrimage began.”

“Mr. Jobs spent his final weeks — as he had spent most of his life — in tight control of his choices. He invited a close friend, the physician Dean Ornish, a preventive health advocate, to join him for sushi at one of his favorite restaurants, Jin Sho in Palo Alto,” Duhigg report. “He said goodbye to longtime colleagues including the venture capitalist John Doerr, the Apple board member Bill Campbell and the Disney chief executive Robert A. Iger. He offered Apple’s executives advice on unveiling the iPhone 4S, which occurred on Tuesday. He spoke to his biographer, Walter Isaacson. He started a new drug regime, and told some friends that there was reason for hope.”

Duhigg reports, “But, mostly, he spent time with his wife and children — who will now oversee a fortune of at least $6.5 billion, and, in addition to their grief, take on responsibility for tending to the legacy of someone who was as much a symbol as a man… ‘Steve’s concerns these last few weeks were for people who depended on him: the people who worked for him at Apple and his four children and his wife,’ said Mona Simpson, Mr. Jobs’s sister. ‘His tone was tenderly apologetic at the end. He felt terrible that he would have to leave us.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

28 Comments

  1. This is an Edna St Vincent Millay poem that was really going through my mind this week. No comfort, but truth, and sums up how a lot of people have been feeling.

    I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground
    So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
    Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
    With lilies and laurel they go: but I am not resigned.

    Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
    Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
    A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
    A formula, a phrase remains – but the best is lost.

    The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love –
    They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
    Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
    More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

    Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
    Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind:
    Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
    I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

    1. Nice poem Ki 🙂

      I have a Pearl Jam song called ‘The End’ running through my veins, it is so simple, so sad, and so powerful. But above all else I just think of Steve whenever I hear it. I well up, it’s beautiful, the tears are sad, but for some reason I feel joy. Joy that he led the life he did, he put the ding in the universe that was his goal.

      Here’s a link to a live version – it’s stunning;

      And here’s the lyrics to that song;

      What were all those dreams we shared
      Those many years ago?
      What were all those plans we made
      Now left beside the road?
      Behind us in the road

      More than friends, I always pledged
      Cause friends they come and go
      People change, as does everything
      I wanted to grow old
      I just want to grow old

      Slide up next to me
      I’m just a human being
      I will take the blame
      But just the same
      This is not me

      You see?
      Believe…

      I’m better than this
      Don’t leave me so cold
      I’m buried beneath the stones
      I just want to hold on
      I know I’m worth your love

      Enough…
      I don’t think
      There’s such a thing

      It’s my fault now
      Having caught a sickness in my bones
      How it pains to leave you here
      With the kids on your own
      Just don’t let me go

      Help me see myself
      Cause I can no longer tell
      Looking out from the inside
      Of the bottom of a well

      It’s hell…
      I yell…

      But no one hears
      Before I disappear
      Whisper in my ear
      Give me something to echo in my
      Unknown futures ear

      My dear…
      The end
      Comes near…
      I’m here…
      But not much longer.

  2. I’m proud of Steve Jobs in that that I’m proud the human family I am a member of could produce someone like him.

    I’m proud that his nature was to feel robbed, that he had more to offer and was sorry he couldn’t, viewing himself as much a servant to humanity as a member of it. If more of our leaders had that attitude, the world would be a better place.

    But I deeply hope that in his final lucid moments he could feel warmth, peace and accomplishment. Few in modern history deserved that feeling more.

  3. Steve left us with the examples and words to drive us on.

    Steve did this with a degree of clarity & sparseness in focusing and doing one thing “right” and to the best we can do for top notch human usability of the products we design.

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