It's a little strange: feeling so close to someone you've never met. I've read countless tweets, posts and articles all expressing much of the same sentiments -- that Steve was a genius, a leader, an innovator, a risk-taker, an admirable human being that throngs of people felt intrinsically connected to.
I've had the misfortune (or fortune depending on how you like to see the glass) of experiencing a lot of loss and heartache. That's part of my personal story. But your perspective becomes markedly different when a community of strangers suffers a loss together.
In Canada, Jack Layton was taken from us in August -- by Cancer. Steve Jobs suffered the same, horrifying fate. To be stripped of your life by something so cruel and unforgiving is equally as unbearable to experience as it is to watch, I think.
I recall the announcement of Steve's resignation -- walking into work the next day, I was inundated with everyone's thoughts, both business and personal. I'm your quintessential Machead and have never hid it. Steve said that if he felt he could no longer perform at his standard as the head of Apple he would step down, and when he did we could all almost hear the ominous clock counting down.
It hasn't sunk in for me yet. Reading through everyone else's personal stories about how Steve inspired them, about how Steve was the only reason they were who they were today, about how Steve had irrevocably changed the world showed me how deeply rooted he was in people's lives. He wasn't just a businessman or a technologist.
Steve is no doubt a legend. And I believe he's one of those indescribable people we will hold in high reverence always.
As my jaw dropped when I read that first tweet from Forbes on Wednesday, October 5 announcing his death, I could only think how sad it is to lose. But I remind myself always how much sadder it would be to never have had at all.
Goodbye Steve. And to those of you staring hardship and loss in its dark, bottomless eyes, remember him, because he took his "3 months to live" sentence and transformed it into 7 glorious years of incomparable global impact.