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Steve Jobs

Did Steve Jobs Have a Death-Bed Vision?

In her eulogy for her brother Steve Jobs, writer Mona Simpson closes with the technology guru’s final words:

Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times.

Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.

Steve’s final words were:


When I quickly read through the eulogy yesterday, I assumed that Jobs was referring to his family (and how much he was in awe of them). But Steve Volk pointed out to me that Simpson says he looked at his family and then “over their shoulders past them”. Which made me think – did Steve Jobs experience a death-bed vision?

This would not actually be all that surprising – in the 2009 paper “Comfort for the Dying” (Fenwick et al), researchers found that almost two thirds of doctors, nurses and hospice carers that they surveyed reported witnessing transpersonal end-of-life experiences such as deathbed-visions. And one of the features of these visions is often looking past ‘real’ people in the room at ‘intrusions’ from another realm. For example:

[O]ne lady, about an hour before she died said, “they’re all in the room; they’re all in the room”. The room was full of people she knew and I can remember feeling quite spooked really and looking over my shoulder and not seeing a thing but she could definitely see the room full of people that she knew.

I’m also reminded of an account found in Sir William Barrett’s Death-Bed Visions – The Psychical Experiences of the Dying (post-humously published in 1926):

A matron was also present, and reported: “Her husband was leaning over her and speaking to her, when pushing him aside she said, “Oh, don’t hide it; it’s so beautiful.”

…Her baby was brought for her to see. She looked at it with interest, and then said, “Do you think I ought to stay for baby’s sake?” Then turning towards the vision again, she said, “I can’t – I can’t stay; if you could see what I do, you would know I can’t stay.”

Probably only Steve Jobs’ immediate family would be able to tell exactly whether the words were meant for them, or describing something else that he was experiencing. But it’s pretty damn awesome either way.

You can read more about Steve Jobs’ death-bed experience, and those of others, in  Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife.

  1. Great Beyond
    I wonder if Steve Jobs was simply expressing the suspense of being on the cusp of finding out what happens after death? “Oh wow, here I go” rather than “oh wow, I see other beings/an afterlife.” This is how I interpret his last moments. He would have prepared himself for the moment, not just through meditation & spiritual practice, but through previous close calls over the years; Steve Jobs may have been excited and humbled at finding out the answer to life’s greatest mystery.

    I don’t like to presume though, and only his loved ones know his state of mind when he died (and what medication he took, if any, and whether he used psychedelics in his last days). Knowing how he lived his life, I’m sure if there is an afterlife, Jobs is working on an iHalo right now!

  2. Steve Jobs & ‘The final wow’
    Dear readers, I have commented on similar experiences in previous posts.

    First off in relation to Steve’s sisters piece and having all due regard to the fact that she is in professional wordsmith, never the less her piece is a lovely warm, affectionate and revealing piece on the private Jobs. As lines from a song popular in my youth went ” If we could only see the world through the eyes of a child, what a wonderful world it would be”

    Steve did and yet was able fully to appreciate the ‘Third wave’ that shaped our civilization, his genius was that he was able to fuse his childlike ‘wonder world’ with cutting edge electronic technology to explore and indeed explode that worlds as in pixar pictures, into poplar culture, to the extent that he too became and pioneered that poplar culture in so many directions.

    As to his final moments, I have shared some of this with readers before: I was born into a community still living in the age of the horse and in the pre-electric and widespread use of the internal combustion engine. My late father could have easily fitted in to Irish Neolithic farming practices of over three thousand years ago, and those farmers with most of his!

    The community lived in three generation households and most of my grandfathers generation died at home, often in the very same room and even bed where they had been born. Inside the last 48 hours and in particular in the final hours before death it was accepted that ‘The Other Side’ were present to accompany the disincarnate entity into the spirit world.

    These spirits were made up of some former family members who had passed on, former neighbors and friends of the dying person. The dying person in the ‘crossover period’ of the immediate hours prior to death had access to both the worlds of the ‘living and the dead’ and accordingly could act as a conduit for the transmission of information back from the ‘The Other Side’. ‘ They’ could hear the discussiona and questions, so in general the questions asked by the living were ‘heard’ but occasionally the dying person had to ‘work both sided’ as the quality of communications were not always uniform or consistent.

    These events as I have said previously, did not always occur but they happened with sufficient regularity to be regarded as commonplace. The occurrences had their own code of practice, the departed could not be asked any detailed questions about the’ Other Side’ or ‘ The Crowd Upstairs’ as the heavenly hierarchy were referred to ( It was a Celtic Practice not to name or discuss the Sacral in profane settings, hence the various nomenclatures for indirect references to Supernatural Beings and Realms )

    I will be dealing with all this in an extensive series of blogs in the not too distant future as promised. Steve Jobs ‘Wow, wow, Wow’ experience seems to parallel much of my own childhood experiences in this regard in the 1950’s in that remote area of Ireland, and with hindsight, truly magical time. My youngest brother was born in a Hospital rather than at home and by his childhood Electricity, TV was common place. the transformation from a culture of over 20 centuries, to a twenty century culture happened in a little over a decade and a half. It sometimes seems that we grew up in different countries, so great was that change.

    Currently as I am preparing my publishing business and past book stock republishing and for internet sales only I am rather busy at the moment. However if any serious researcher working in this area need to pursue specific points or questions I will try to oblige time permitting at the address.

    Great work by all the Daily Grail team, your work one and all is appreciated and valued. When I do start delving into these areas in detail, you have given some hard acts to follow Best regards to all!

  3. Steve Jobs’ Death Bed Vision
    Greg, I automatically assumed it was vision stuff simply because given Jobs was an LSD fan and some people facing terminal illnesses are given it to help them come to terms with their fate I’m almost certain he wouldn’t miss the opportunity to go out dropping some.

    Saying that an uncle of mine went out bitterly telling all the dead relatives he reported seeing grinning at the foot of his bed “Don’t y’get it – y’dead! You’re figments of me morphine! Wipe the smile off y’faces y’stupid bastards – Science’s proved y’ don’t exist!”

    …didn’t stop something strongly resembling him telling me later, “I didn’t know how loved I was.”

    1. Reading Between the Lines
      It is easy to read a lot into Steve Jobs last words.

      Perhaps we shouldn’t.

      He was not alone when he passed.

      Some people who are in the same room as the deceased also see what they see.

      This doesnt seem to have been the case in Steve’s passing.



  4. Steve Jobs’ Vision
    When I heard what Steve Jobs’ last comment was, it gave me a chill. A pastor I had several years ago developed a condition very much like Lou Gehrig’s disease. The last several months of his life, he was unable to speak, but the night he died, his wife heard him rustling in the middle of the night. She went in to check on him, and just as she got to his bedside, he said two words VERY clearly. Those words were: WOW! WOW! Then, he was gone. One has to believe these folks are seeing SOMETHING incredible.

    Just one other anecdote: A friend of mine went to Santa Barbara, CA to be with her father, who was very ill. He requested she take him to a bluff overlooking the Pacific ocean. She pushed him in his wheelchair to a point with a great view. After a few minutes, he said to her as he looked out over the ocean, “There’s a whole ARMY of them.” She said, A whole army of what, dad?” He answered her, “Angels.” He then bowed his head and died. His head didn’t just drop, he deliberately bowed it, and then she heard his last breath a few seconds later.

    In neither of the above cases was there any fear; just simply awe.

    1. Fear and Awe

      In neither of the above cases was there any fear; just simply awe.

      I really hope that when my time comes, I’ll show more curiosity than fear 🙂

  5. Did Steve Jobs Have a Death-Bed Vision?
    Did Steve Jobs Have a Death-Bed Vision?

    I like to call Steve Jobs the “Father of Personal Computing”.

    There is no way to know for sure of course, but I personally think and feel that Steve Jobs, at the moment of his death, received a little reward for his life dedicated to a vision, and was privy to the fulfillment of his dream… the highest and most essential pinnacle of the benefit to man of where computing will eventually lead.

    Like evolution and the discovery & utilization of electricity, there is likely no specific end or final culmination to the uses of computing, but suffice it to say that it’s progress and usage will be compelling, significant, and crucial to the global perspective of connectedness, and the social structure & future of mankind…

    If WE could only see…

    “OH WOW,” indeed.

    Thanks Steve. ♥
    – One World, One Family

  6. Vision of Victims?
    Given that Jobs made a fortune in part through the suffering and misery of others, with a total refusal by his company to take any responsibility for the ethical sourcing of, for example, the columbite–tantalite largely from DR Congo, (where women are routinely raped to ‘encourage’ them to work along with other slaves, including children, in the mines)then one might expect that he saw his victims at his deathbed opening the doors to his own personal hell.

    But somehow I don’t think this likely – he didn’t give a shit about them in life, so I doubt he would have done approaching death.

    1. What happens to big time
      What happens to big time sinners on the other side is a “big question.” Michael Newton’s book “Destiny of Souls” which is a harvest of thousands of reports of after death experiences resolves that a sort of council of life reviewers confront the newly departed in an almost neutral fashion and first ask, “What did you do with your life.” If the answer is the equivalent of “not much” or something like “I caused a lot of pain” the being then gets counseling on what the next life should be in order to correct the deficiencies of the former. The only “hell” is the purgatory of being stuck between here and there in limbo – neither alive nor truly departed to the higher realm – that is where ghosts find themselves. If you want to see what “hell” is just look at the predicament of ghosts.
      These are of course very ancient ideas shared across many cultures throughout history. That is probably because they are true – conclusions arrived at by the collective observations of millions of people over time paying attention to these sorts of things.

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