A sister’s eulogy reveals Steve Jobs’ final words

“I grew up as an only child, with a single mother. Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like Omar Sharif. I hoped he would be rich and kind and would come into our lives (and our not yet furnished apartment) and help us,” Mona Simpson writes for The New York Times. “Later, after I’d met my father, I tried to believe he’d changed his number and left no forwarding address because he was an idealistic revolutionary, plotting a new world for the Arab people.”

“Even as a feminist, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me,” Simpson writes. “For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother.”

Simpson writes, “What I learned from my brother’s death was that character is essential: What he was, was how he died… Steve’s final words were: OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.”

Read more in the full article – with the highest recommendation – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Jubei,” “Edward Weber,” “Tony W.,” “Alan Dodds,” “Citymark,” “goddess,” “Lava_Head_UK,” “night healer,” “Ellis D.,” “Dale S.,” “Hg Wells,” “Lynn Weiler,” “Mike_D,” and “Whit D.” for the heads up.]

60 Comments

    1. If Steven knew that the death is approaching, wanted to say proper final goodbyes to his family and yet was not sure if he will survive any longer for even few hours, then I still do not understand why doctors would not attach breath enforcing equipment to prevent respiratory arrest (what was the cause of death).

      Was Jobs so adamant about dying with no such medical care that would give him as much time as possible? Even more adamant about that so he risked the ability to say proper goodbyes to his family?

      1. Having watched my brother fight and ultimately succumb to liver/colon cancer, let me offer some insight.

        In the final days the body starts to shut down, the lower extremities swell, the pain is excruciating. An anxious anxiety takes over most of your thoughts. It is not pleasant, It took all of my strength just to bear it and be with him, I didn’t want to watch, but I had to. I had cared for him day to day for two years while he tried to fight it off, we were very close. He was 36. My wish for him was to slip off peacefully so his suffering would stop.

        My guess is Steve new his time was at hand and extending it by a few hours, days was not going to bring peace to his family, only prolong the anguish. He took the graceful route and allowed fate to run it’s coarse.

      2. Knowing how intensely private Steve was, I wonder if he’d appreciate making this all public?

        On the subject of his bio, I agree, many unconnected dots. I’m about 35% done, and the conclusion that Steve was an A$$hole is clearly established. There’s no explanation yet for why so many of these people that he treated so poorly are still his friends, still in his life? I can guess, but the author is silent so far.

        1. I have a few asshole friends. It’s like learning to accept the good and the bad in a person. They can be down right assholes sometimes, but they would fight for you, or be there for you at times. Sometimes they don’t even realize they’re being an asshole, they’re just being themselves.

        2. Part of it was that Steve was right. He was a jerk to push them to do BETTER. To motivate them. He shot down their ideas because he WANTED them to challenge him, and explain why they thought it was best.

          There were times when it worked beautifully. He wasn’t a total asshole for example >>>SPOILER ALERT<<< When the guys went behind his back and got those hard drives…. he said "You son of a b****!" to his engineer but he was smiling and happy because they had the balls to stand up to him and prove they were right.

        3. People are not a single thing. Some people can be assholes and also kind, loving, family men/women. It is obvious, having read this eulogy, that while Jobs had the propensity to be mean, he also had a propensity to be the opposite in a much more meaningful way.

          We all have different tolerances for different people, based on how we know them as whole individuals. Certain people I will forgive for more distasteful actions than others.

      3. IMHO it’s not feasible to extend the pain and suffering. Some relatives want that and force an already “dead” body to stay alive with all kind of medical devices – for selfish reasons (they can’t let go). Should I be in a terminal condition, I would refuse ANY treatment, except heavy pain killers. Ultimately everybody dies. Yes, ICUs are important, yes MDs are there to “fight against death”, but at some certain point one has to stop fighting and accept the inevitable.

  1. The final sentences from her piece just wells our eyes up, you choke up then you realize he’s finally slipped into peace. He left seeing the very last thing that was the most important in his life.

    His family.

    1. That’s true. What’s interesting though, is what he saw when he looked beyond them…or who.

      I remember when my grandfather was dying, as he was ‘traveling’ he would see a child that no one else in the room could see—the son my grandparents lost to pneumonia as toddler.

      As he soul began the separation from his body, I wonder if Steve saw his adopted parents….or a lot more…and then some.

      Wonder if John Lennon, George Harrison, Nikola Tesla, Einstein or Ghandi was there to greet him….sigh.

      I hope it was wonderful for him.

  2. As i reflect, ponder and weep…….. Steve is in a much better place. This world is a cesspool of inept corporate executives & IT Bozos. “Do The Right Thing”. What part of this simple quote, is so hard to understand & implement in the corporate climate today?

  3. Mona Simpson needs to write Steve’s REAL biography. Halfway through reading Walter Isaacson’s, and I’m under the serious impression he just didn’t get Steve Jobs. In 600 pages the dots were not connected in so many obvious ways (gaps and omissions galore), leaving readers, and definitely readers in the loop, baffled and annoyed.

    1. Interesting comment. I’m also half-way though Isaacson’s bio and think he has made an excellent job of understanding Steve Jobs. What are the gaps and omissions to which you refer. Genuinely curious…

    2. Mona Simpson may not have been a great official biographer of Steve, though it’s hard to speculate, her eulogy is pretty good. She might have been considered/criticised as partial to (or even against) the man, her objectivity towards the subject would always be in question. Even fans might see her a suspect, particularly since her earlier work, A Regular Guy (1996), that allegedly had ticked off Steve for some unflattering cheap “scoops”.

      However, I’m completely in agreement with you in regards to Mr. Isaacson’s Steve Jobs. I feel Mr. Isaacson was more concerned for his own image (struggling against some perceived RDF BS and criticising the evil Steve just to come across as objective) than the larger than life subject at hand. He not only also came across, on more than one occasion, sporting a under estimation/preconceived bias against Steve but worse, he sometimes came across as an apologist. Steve lived his life the way he did, good and bad but better than most, no apology seemed needed and few offered from him. Why apologise for the man, and not take some of his words for granted, until proven false.

      From the beginning of the book, he took the tone of a Freudian trying to force connect some childhood dots that made the man. It reads as simplistic as: Jobs was adopted, he was therefore aloof with a sense of abandonment all the while nursing a curious sense of being special etc. The entire writing was dry, predictable, bullet points elongated. Worse still, it lacks any sense of empathy, and therefore is void of real insights. Hard to understand a subject if you are not willing see yourself walking in his shoes.

      From the get go, Mr. Isaacson felt the need to clarify that he really didn’t want to do this work. Steve had forced this upon him, but the biographer himself was more eminent for writing the bios of other great folks. Steve and the readers should bear in mind that Steve Jobs is no Ben Franklin let alone Einstein. If you are not already absolutely clear on that, Mr. Isaacson has made sure in the preface of the book, as well during every talk circuit promoting the book. We get it!

      You were not there to understand the man, rather “I just listened to him.” I seriously wish Steve hadn’t bother with him or even a biography (his oeuvre is his real bio), and just left us some recording. Hopefully, Mr. “I just listened” Isaacson had bothered to tape some of their conversations and I’d be willing to bet they would provide a lot more insights for future generation than this “official bio” has been.

      All of this rant above, obviously, are my personal opinion, and maybe Steve knew what he was doing on picking Mr. Isaacson. I just wished he had picked Sylvia Nasar of A Beautiful Mind fame. She brings remarkable empathy, clarity and willingness to learn/research and present her subject and her subject’s subject or work. She can delve deep into most technical issues with just as ease, and then explain them with great lucidity, just so her readers can appreciate the actual work of the person in focus, and not just learn of their personal relationships and interview checklists hacked off by some newspaper editor with a deadline.

    3. I was waiting for someone to say it. I just finished the book and Isaacson did not get Steve Jobs. Not even close. He spent most of the novel cross-examining Steve’s quotes with the words of his competitors, enemies and bozos. And never once doubting their credibility. Steve would be quoted, followed by “that’s not exactly true.” Maybe. And maybe it is true. I was disappointed to say the least. Isaacson is a newsman, looking for controversy. Steve needed a visionary to write about a visionary. Mona, if you read this, please do another biography for Steve’s fans, for the world and for Steve.

      1. Well, given the amount of time he spent with Jobs, Issacson knew him better than any of us here. In my opinion it was not his job to understand Jobs, nor was it his job to sugarcoat who he was just to please a certain group of people. His job was to document Jobs’s life.

        Steve was very meticulous in the decisions he made in his life. He knew exactly what he was doing when he tapped Issacson to be his biographer, which is why he refused to read drafts of the book. Who are we to question that decision, just because we may not like the conclusions that were reached in the final product?

        1. The restless consumer likes to be spoon fed all his/her conclusions…

          How dare we be made to think through or comprehend matters to conclusion…?! Never mind the 16,000,000 shades of grey that exist, it has to be black or white for the pea brains.

          How can anyone appreciate the genius, dedication and contribution of Steve Jobs without understanding that there’s always more to the picture than meets the eye?

  4. His sister said he looked past his loved ones – obviously he saw something that filled him with some kind of awe and wonder. I wonder what was it that Steve saw?

  5. I think a Mona Simpson OR Laurene Powell bio about Steve would be fascinating.

    I also think Steve lived his entire life in awe, not just his final moments.

    Peace.

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