News, — November 1, 2011 9:48 — 0 Comments
Mona Simpson, sister of the late Apple co-founder, reveals details of the final moments Jobs spent with his family
Jobs, who once memorably described death as “very likely the single best invention of life”, departed this world with a lingering look at his family and the simple, if mysterious, observation: “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
Details of his final moments came from his sister Mona Simpson, who has allowed the New York Times to publish the eulogy she delivered at his memorial service on 16 October. In it, she explains how she rushed to Jobs’s bedside after he asked her to come to see him as soon as possible.
“His tone was affectionate, dear, loving, but like someone whose luggage was already strapped onto the vehicle, who was already on the beginning of his journey, even as he was sorry, truly deeply sorry, to be leaving us,” she writes.
When she arrived, she found Jobs surrounded by his family – “he looked into his children’s eyes as if he couldn’t unlock his gaze,” – and managing to hang on to consciousness she said.
However, he began to deteriorate. “His breathing changed. It became severe, deliberate, purposeful. I could feel him counting his steps again, pushing farther than before. This is what I learned: he was working at this, too. Death didn’t happen to Steve, he achieved it.”
After making it through one final night, wrote Simpson, her brother began to slip away. “His breath indicated an arduous journey, some steep path, altitude. He seemed to be climbing.
“But with that will, that work ethic, that strength, there was also sweet Steve’s capacity for wonderment, the artist’s belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later.
“Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times.
“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.
“Steve’s final words were: ‘Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.’”
Simpson, a novelist and English professor, also used the eulogy to pay tribute to some of her late brother’s beliefs – and idiosyncrasies.
“Novelty was not Steve’s highest value,” she writes. “Beauty was. For an innovator, Steve was remarkably loyal. If he loved a shirt, he’d order 10 or 100 of them. In the Palo Alto house, there are probably enough black cotton turtlenecks for everyone in this church.”
Although the precise meaning of Jobs’s ultimate utterance is hard to pin down, it will further fuel interest in a man who continues to captivate the business and creative worlds even after death.
His biography, written by Walter Isaacson, is topping many book charts and is even tipped to become the bestselling book on Amazon this year.
The company’s latest offering, the iPhone 4S, is faring less well, however, with many users complaining of rapid battery drain on their new smartphones.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010