Thinking about Steve Jobs, his family and the holidays

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    Posted: 28 November 2011 01:02 AM

    I don’t think I’ve written in the forums since Steve Jobs died. So many people mourned together while I mourned alone. At least, it felt like I was alone. For reasons I have yet to understand, I think I wrote in the most solitary place on the Internet, Facebook. I put up the Steve Apple that some brilliant kid in, I think, Japan made and I typed a few words only a few people would ever see and went back to mourning—alone. I think the reason was, in retrospect, because I didn’t think anyone would understand, even here at Mac Observer. Perhaps *especially* at Mac Observer because I’d predicted his death even before we knew about the transplant. I did so after the first Stevenote where we all saw “Skinny Steve.” I think the first words I posted then were something like, “He’s dying.” That’s when other posters pounced. I wish that I didn’t, but I know what a dying mammal looks like and he was slowly slipping away.

    I just happened to be one of the very first to hear the news that Steve had left this plane of existence because I’m an insomniac and watch the overnight news. I immediately went online and there was next to nothing about it. [ETA: I now remember posting here with a title something like “he’s gone.”]  I definitely felt alone and in deep sorrow. Just because we all knew in time that it was going to happen doesn’t make it easier when it does.  Good, bad or indifferent, Steve Jobs was one of my heroes.

    I don’t quite remember how, but I ended up on a CNN page about an hour ago where their most popular stories are listed. One of them was about the letters Steve received and wrote to people. (I’d write the precise title, but I’m in a text field on a form page and, apparently, iPhone won’t allow me to go back to saved pages.) The article was the second of a three-parter from a self-published e-book. Even though I’d shied away from the memorial video, I read this article. It brought to light the person who was Steve Jobs and confirmed for me the man I’d always believed him to be in part.

    Steve believed that the only important things in life were kids, some friends and work. That’s when I began to think of his family. This is their first holiday season without him. For those of us old enough to have lost a loved one, the first holiday season aftwards is brutal, no matter how brave those left behind try to make it. If you’re a child when the death occurs, you’re terrified, either consciously or subconsciously, that your remaining parent or grandparent or sibling(s) will die too. You can’t help it. No reassurances in the world are enough because you’ve been through hell. In some ways, the hell returns during the holidays because that’s when family and friends get together. But this year, there’s someone missing. That missing person is husband, father, son and friend Steven P. Jobs. He did not live long enough. [ETA2: I found my first post announcing Steve’s death. From the time stamp, the news came in the afternoon, probably as I was watching MSNBC. I checked two other sources, including my AP app that never fails to blow up with breaking news, and then posted.]