Steve Jobs' sister shares his final moments, last words

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Novelist Mona Simpson, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' biological sister, has shared her eulogy for her brother, offering an intimate look at the last moments before he died, including his surprising last words.



The New York Times published Simpson's eulogy, which was shared at a memorial service for Jobs on Oct. 16 at Stanford Memorial Church. She wrote how as a young girl she had hoped for her absent father to be "rich and kind and come into our lives?and help" her and her mom. Her dream eventually came true, but through her brother, rather than her father.



"Even as a feminist, my whole life I?d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I?d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother," she wrote.



Jobs, who was adopted, didn't meet Simpson until they were both adults. While living in New York, Simpson was contacted by a lawyer in 1985 who notified her that her long-lost brother was "rich and famous."



The lawyer refused to disclose his client's name, so Simpson's coworkers started a betting pool with actor John Travolta as the leading candidate. She shared that she secretly hoped that he was "a literary descendant of Henry James -- someone more talented than [her], someone brilliant without even trying."



"When I met Steve, he was a guy my age in jeans, Arab- or Jewish-looking and handsomer than Omar Sharif," she wrote.



Jobs and Simpson went for a long walk, where he explained that he was in the computer business. Simpson said she had yet to buy a computer and was considering buying a Cromemco. Jobs told her that it was a good thing she'd waited, as he was working on something that was going to be "insanely beautiful."







Simpson went on to share things she had learned from Jobs during three distinct periods that she called "states of being:" his full life, his illness and his dying.



According to her, Jobs wasn't ashamed of working hard even if "the results were failures." After being ousted from Apple, he was disappointed, especially when he wasn't invited to a meeting of 500 Silicon Valley leaders with the then U.S. president, but he still worked hard at the new company he had started, NeXT.



"Novelty was not Steve?s highest value. Beauty was," Simpson said, noting that he probably owned enough trademark black cotton turtleneck shirts for everyone at the memorial service.



Similar to an earlier essay where Jobs' first serious girlfriend shared about Jobs, Simpson shared how much of a romantic her brother was.



"[Jobs] was like a girl in the amount of time he spent talking about love. Love was his supreme virtue, his god of gods," she wrote, noting that he would often call out to men he thought women would consider attractive to see if they would come to dinner with Simpson.



Simpson also shared how much Jobs was in love with his wife, Laurene, saying that his love for her "sustained him."



When Jobs became ill, his family "watched his life compress into a smaller circle," Simpson wrote. After his liver transplant in 2009, he had to relearn how to walk.



"He tried. He always, always tried, and always with love at the core of that effort. He was an intensely emotional man," she said.



Jobs endured the pain for his family, setting goals for himself: his son's high school graduation, a trip to Japan with his daughter, the launching of a boat he was building that he hoped to retire on with his wife. But, some of his goals he was unable to meet. Jobs passed away on Oct. 5 at age 56 after a years-long fight with cancer.



Recounting the manner in which Jobs approached death, Simpson said "what he was, was how he died." According to her, "death didn?t happen to Steve, he achieved it," adding that, as his breathing slowed, "he seemed to be climbing."



To conclude, Simpson shared how Jobs' final words as he looked at his sister Patty, his children and his wife, then over their shoulders, were "OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 135
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member
    That was fucking amazing. Eyes were welling up quite a bit at the end.
  • Reply 2 of 135
    I really had to distract myself while reading this to prevent myself from crying. It's so astonishing that before he died, everybody viewed him as a god, and now his human side is finally being revealed to everybody. In a way, he actually spoke for all of us and made products that we all would've wanted to make ourselves if we had the talent. When I was younger, I always wondered why he didn't run for president, and sometimes I still wish he had.



    Edit: this was all dictated using Siri
  • Reply 3 of 135
    My mom pretty much had the same expression when she was dying. She said briefly how incredible it was, looking off into space. I hope God took that sweet, faithful man home.
  • Reply 4 of 135
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Must have been very hard for his children to watch their father pass away.
  • Reply 5 of 135
    It was a very personal and heartfelt eulogy. I was sadden to read this detailed account of his last hours on earth. At least the end was peaceful for him, but very hard on those he left behind. *Pauses to reflect*
  • Reply 6 of 135
    [Removed.... people seem to be interpreting my post as requiring some sort of answer. Ridiculous. On my part, I guess....].
  • Reply 7 of 135
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    He was an incredible man. Incredible. I used text to speech to read this and used a british voice that is in lion. I loved how the female british voice reads this posts. It base been hard for me to deal with Steve's passing. Every time I look at my iPhone or my Mac Pro I see Steve. I guess there will always be apart of him with us. See you at the Mother Ship Steve.
  • Reply 8 of 135
    simtubsimtub Posts: 277member
    RIP Steve. We will never forget what we learned from you.
  • Reply 9 of 135
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Why...?





    Why did he say that?



    He was probably envisioning the tunnelling effect.



    Its a natural process that people misinterpret as "getting close to God."



    In reality, the blood in the eye sockets compress on the retina from the sides creating a "tunnel" effect. Many people interpret this as the "light at the end of the tunnel" = God awaiting them.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    Must have been very hard for his children to watch their father pass away.





    And children of other fathers are dont have it hard?
  • Reply 10 of 135
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Why...?



    On top of seeing all those who loved him at his side he was over whelmed with the inevitable. You have to feel for him in his last moments. Poor guy. If giving up my life would have saved him I won;d have.
  • Reply 11 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    Why did he say that?



    That was not my question. Thanks.
  • Reply 12 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    Poor guy.



    [Ah, forget it...]
  • Reply 13 of 135
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Why...?



    He was apparently alert at the end. Imminent death is unknown territory for the living. I really don't think it was appropriate for her to share that publicly.
  • Reply 14 of 135
    He was lucid.



    RIP Mr. Jobs.
  • Reply 15 of 135
    eehdeehd Posts: 137member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Why...?



    I won't speculate like others who have claimed he was overwhelmed by his family or the "tunneling effect." It could as well have been pain. We will never know.
  • Reply 16 of 135
    You are running a highly offensive google ad on the Steve Jobs last words page for a novelty gelatin brain mould. It's actually quite a repulsive and disgusting photo to have right next to an article on Steve Jobs passing, please remove it ASAP.
  • Reply 17 of 135
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    He was apparently alert at the end. Imminent death is unknown territory for the living. I really don't think it was appropriate for her to share that publicly.



    I assume she would have asked her brother's permission about such things, including any last words. Doesn't it seem like something a business mogul brother and author sister might have talked about?
  • Reply 18 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I assume she would have asked her brother's permission about such things, including any last words. Doesn't it seem like something a business mogul brother and author sister might have talked about?



    Moreover, one would think that a sister has the right to make such a call, irrespective of what some judgmental, anonymous opinionated folks in some random internet forum might think.
  • Reply 19 of 135
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I assume she would have asked her brother's permission about such things, including any last words. Doesn't it seem like something a business mogul brother and author sister might have talked about?



    I don't know. Having gone through a near death experience myself I would not like to have made public the stuff I said at that point. I was telling the paramedics to write down passwords with my last words. My friends said I was talking some crazy stuff just before I went unconscious. I stayed in a coma for 3 months. I'm fine now but even unconscious I was having recurring nightmares. That stuff should remain private.
  • Reply 20 of 135
    God, what is it about this guy? So many lessons to be learned from a life lived so passionately. We can all apply much of what Steve's sister said about him to some facet of our lives. I know for me, it's rolling up my sleeves to be the best counselor I can be. Learning new things, meeting with clients, listening and guiding well. Working hard. Writing notes, being present for friends, family and clients, feeling what you feel and knowing it and owning it. Appreciating the little things in life as they form an impression on you as you see them, hear them, smell them, feel them, taste them. Thanks Steve. We all know you weren't perfect, most heroes carry many flaws with them, but you did have some good things to say and did you ever leave a great legacy.
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