Nearly a month after the late, much-lauded, and much-quoted Steve Jobs died at the age of 56, his final words have been published.
Mona Simpson, the Apple founder’s sister, recounts Steve Jobs’ deathbed words in a heartbreaking eulogy: “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow”
The piece was published by The New York Times and gave a detailed account of Jobs’ last moments.
She said, “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.”
“When I met Steve, he was a guy my age in jeans, Arab- or Jewish-looking,” she explained. “We took a long walk — something, it happened, that we both liked to do. I don’t remember much of what we said that first day, only that he felt like someone I’d pick to be a friend. He explained that he worked in computers.”
“He said he was making something that was going to be insanely beautiful,” she recalls.
Simpson got to know about his brother when they both were adults. In 1985, a lawyer phoned Simpson and informed her that her long-lost brother had become ‘rich and famous.’ When the lawyer refused to provide her brother’s identity, her coworkers formed a betting pool. John Travolta was the front-runner. She secretly wished for a literary descendent of Henry James, “someone more talented than I, someone brilliant without even trying.”
She also describes how she raced to Jobs’s bedside after he asked her to come visit him as soon as possible in the eulogy.
“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, Jobs was surrounded by his family – “he looked into his children’s eyes as if he couldn’t unlock his gaze,” – managing to hang on to consciousness.
He began to deteriorate, though. “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.”
Simpson stated that her brother began to fade away after surviving one final night. “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 also addressed her famous brother’s love with black turtlenecks, which led to businesses selling out of the generally outdated style after he died.
“For an innovator, Steve was remarkably loyal. If he loved a shirt, he’d order 10 or 100 of them,” she said. “In the Palo Alto house, there are probably enough black cotton turtlenecks for everyone in this church.”
Although the exact meaning of Jobs’ final words is unclear, it will pique curiosity in a man who continues to captivate the corporate and creative sectors even after his death.
Jobs, who had been battling cancer for years, died on October 5 at the age of 56 after a protracted battle. Despite having no formal technical education, he is credited as an inventor or co-inventor on more than 300 US patents.