“Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!”
by L. Stewart Marsden
You’ve probably lost a loved one – or you will sometime during your lifetime. Most of us pass with little or no fanfare. Age, illness, accident or tragedy take just about all of us out. Only one person I’m aware of who went to and came back.
Last words. Steven Jobs’ last words, according to his sister, were “Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!” According to her, he was looking intensely at his children.
So what did he see? The real value of his greatest product – his progeny? A world where iPhones and iMacs weren’t needed? Where the human brain finally ascended to its fullest potentials? The beauty of a heavenly world too awesome to verbalize?
Hard to tell. Easy to speculate.
Before my dad died he was in and out of consciousness, and under the influence of meds pumped into him to ease the pain of a surgery that eventually killed him. At one point he sat up and stared into the air just in front of him, mystified at what he attempted to touch but could not – an exquisitely thin glass that floated in the air. He was like a kid, his face aglow with amazement and the giddy delight that had overcome him. On the other side of hallucination, he thought the square window in the door of his intensive care room was an opening in the floor, and that it fell away to an unfathomable depth. “Watch out!” he cautioned – nearly out of breath from fright that one of us was going to fall through the hole.
He was unconscious when he died. A portable CD player was going through “South Pacific,” my parents’ favorite musical. He breathed his last just as “Some Enchanted Evening” began. A fitting adieu for him, as he and my mother lived that enchanted evening together.
Albert Einstein muttered his in German to an attending nurse who spoke only English. Can’t imagine there was no one else there.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s were “I have a terrific headache.”
George Washington’s last words were, “’Tis well.”
Thomas Edison’s were, “It is very beautiful over there!”
Ed Gwyn, actor, said, “Yes, it’s tough [dying], but not as tough as doing comedy!”
Emily Dickenson said, “I must go in – the fog is rising.”
Charles Darwin said, “I am not the least afraid to die.”
Lou Costello, comedian, said, “That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted!”
General John Sedgwick, Civil War Union officer, said, “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist – “
Anna Pavlova, ballerina, said, “Get my swan costume ready.”
Eugene O’Neill, writer, uttered, “I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room – and God damn it – died in a hotel room.”
Oh wow! Oh, wow! Oh . . . wow!
For more famous last words, http://www.corsinet.com/braincandy/dying.html