Most people can count on a single hand the number of events in their lives that were so impactful, they remember exactly where they were when they heard the news. For me, two immediately come to mind: the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the death of Steve Jobs.
It was a Wednesday afternoon and I was out to dinner with a couple of friends at our favorite Mexican restaurant after having wrapped up my daily news coverage duties for TechSpot, when I read that Jobs had just died at his home in Palo Alto, California, following a long bout with pancreatic cancer.
The news wasn’t terribly surprising. Jobs’ health had been visibly declining for years, and in 2009, he took a leave of absence from Apple to undergo a liver transplant in Memphis, TN. His prognosis after the surgery was good, and he returned to work at Apple, but resigned on August 24, 2011, to focus on his health. Six weeks later on October 5, 2011, he died.
Today is the 10th anniversary of his death, and several of his closest friends, family members and colleagues are paying their respects to the Apple co-founder.
Apple CEO Tim Cook posted a touching tribute on Twitter, and former Apple designer Jony Ive recently published a remembrance in The Wall Street Journal about the man he described as his closest and most loyal friend.
I have barely thought about Steve’s death.
My memories of that brutal, heartbreaking day 10 years ago are scattered and random. I cannot remember driving down to his house. I do remember a hazy October sky and shoes that were too tight. I remember afterwards Tim and I sat quietly in the garden together for a long time.
Apple also shared a statement from the Jobs family, which has been reproduced below in its entirety and is also available on the front page of Apple’s website.
For a decade now, mourning and healing have gone together. Our gratitude has become as great as our loss.
Each of us has found his or her own path to consolation, but we have come together in a beautiful place of love for Steve, and for what he taught us.
For all of Steve’s gifts, it was his power as a teacher that has endured. He taught us to be open to the beauty of the world, to be curious around new ideas, to see around the next corner, and most of all to stay humble in our own beginner’s mind.
There are many things we still see through his eyes, but he also taught to look for ourselves. He gave us equipment for living, and it has served us well.
One of our greatest sources of consolation has been our association of Steve with beauty. The sight of something beautiful — a wooded hillside, a well‑made object — recalls his spirit to us. Even in his years of suffering, he never lost his faith in the beauty of existence.
Memory is inadequate for what is in our hearts: we miss him profoundly. We were blessed to have him as husband and father.