I took a break from my chores this first day back home from vacation
and made the short drive to the Apple campus at Cupertino to pay my respects.
The sun was just starting to go down,
and I was expecting to have a hard time getting on the grounds.
But no. It was open.
I thought about the many times Steve Jobs
had come to this campus and
how his heart and soul were embedded in every square foot.
A small, steady crowd of people gathered at
a makeshift memorial in front of one of the buildings.
They stood silently, respectfully, looking at the flowers and wreaths,
reading the posters and notes.
Two young men, clearly security guards, but dressed in very casual attire
–they could have been anyone, really–stayed discretely at least 25 feet away from
the crowd, allowing them to pay their respects without interfering.
They said nothing and didn’t even talk to one another.
In fact, they weren’t even walking near each other.(A short video of the silent crowd and memorial is at the end of this post.)
Wreaths, bouquets, posters, candles: tributes to a man
who was an significant part of the fabric of Silicon Valley
and helped make it what it is today.
Many hand-made posters and notes with
heartfelt thoughts and tributes.
The sentiment remained, long after the votives burned down.
Like Steve’s impact on the world.
Even without a traditional funeral,
People find a way to express their grief, pay their respects.
Who knows, this young man may grow up to be a visionary,
himself. I was moved by the number of children
who looked at all the notes and posters.
The place that Steve built.
Although I’d never met him, Steve was a important
part of the arc of my life out here.
His passing makes clear that my youth is gone.
that I’m no longer 33 years old and new to the Silicon Valley, at the cusp of the
great adventure that would become my life.
Maybe none of it –his death, my age–was real to me until I saw the memorial.
Now, it’s inescapable.
The King is dead.
Who will be the next?