Steve Jobs’ sister Mona Simpson shared in the eulogy she delivered at the late Apple CEO‘s memorial service that his surprising final words from his deathbed were, “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.”
In the eulogy, which was printed in The New York Times on Sunday, Simpson describes Jobs’ final days and moments in a Palo Alto hospital, which was spent surrounded by family as his breathing gradually became shorter.
His breath, she said, “indicated an arduous journey, some steep path, altitude.”
Delivered at the October 16 service for Jobs at Stanford Memorial Church, Simpson, an accomplished novelist, began by describing her initial meeting of her brother for the first time when she was in her mid-20s. Simpson was born in 1957, two years after Jobs, who was given up for adoption as an infant.
“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,” Simpson said.
Simpson went on to describe her strong relationship with the man now know for the revolutionizing computer world, while explaining Jobs’ work ethic and capacity for love — particularly for his wife Laurene and as a doting father to their three children.
“Steve was like a girl in the amount of time he spent talking about love. Love was his supreme virtue, his god of gods. He tracked and worried about the romantic lives of the people working with him,” she said.
In describing his illness from pancreatic cancer, which Jobs was diagnosed with in October 2003, Simpson paints a picture of Jobs as an enduring, “intensely emotional man.”
She concluded her eulogy by sharing Jobs’ final moments, which were spent staring lovingly at his family, and his final three monosyllabic words as he stared into the distance past their shoulders: OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.
Simpson is currently a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. She has written five novels, and won the Whiting Prize for her debut, “Anywhere But Here.”
- Steve Jobs