Steve Jobs has passed away.
The news were surprising enough, even though I knew he was ill. What surprised me the most, however, was my own reaction, the extent to which this affected me. Since the day I experienced death in my closest family, the topic has always triggered discomfort and sadness in me, and I expected that this time around as well, but I didn’t expect such a strong feeling of loss.
After much thought (and sadness, and anger, and frustration, and disappointment), I have come to believe that mourning is just as necessary as it is dangerous. I’ll be the first to say that it’s a process you have to go through, that it allows you to move on; but I also think that if you’re not careful, it can trap you, entangle you, and by the time you realize, the pain of death has clouded your memories and dyed all recollections of the person’s life.
Heh, this is the fifth time I start this paragraph from scratch. I’ve spent the last few minutes staring at the words “For that reason”. After the previous paragraph, I intended to celebrate Steve Jobs’ life, not lament his passing. I can’t seem to get it right, though, so I’ll give it one more try and keep it brief.
The goal of changing the world seems to be reserved for hopeless optimists and idealists, and even regarded as childish by most of those who have lived long enough. Well, Steve Jobs pulled it off. His work, and that of the people he surrounded himself with, had a true, positive impact in all of our lives. He helped shape the world. It is so rare a feat, that the fact alone should be enough to earn our deepest admiration and respect. It earned mine, that’s for sure.
Thank you, and rest in peace, Steve. Rest knowing that those of us that still have time left, will spend it in the reality you helped create.
(If you have the time, read the short statements of Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Tim Cook, and the memorial in the Apple website. You may also like Walt Mossberg’s The Steve Jobs I knew, Sam Altman’s Thanks, Steve, and The Value of saying No. There’s also Randall Munroe’s xkcd tribute)