Posted by: Rob | July 25, 2008

The Death of Dr. Randy Pausch

I had heard of Dr. Pausch and his “Last Lecture”, but that is all. I had no interest in watching said lecture or learning more about him. If it wasn’t for Alicia’s blog, and maybe, I wouldn’t have even known he had died.

Why? Good question. I suppose having experienced – first-hand – the death of my own wife, and she 45, has led me (eventually) to not be as shocked, intrigued or even interested much in the plight of strangers stricken by a similar disease. One of the things that has become most apparent to me in losing my wife is that life is short.

In reading Alicia’s post I noted that Dr. Pausch was 47. That is the age I will be upon my next birthday in a month’s time. I do not embrace death, but I no longer “fear” it (that’s not the right word – I’ve never feared death per se, just feared that it might come too soon). Since I now know I’m not immune to death and that it might come anytime I’ve adjusted – somewhat – how I live my life. While it would be sad for death to come for me today, I would not have as big a problem with it as I would have when I was younger. The changes in my life have included making sure I let everyone important to me know how I feel about them. I no longer let disputes or hard feelings remain unresolved; I do not leave anyone with “something” between us. Because I now know that I might never see them again (in this life) or have another opportunity to set things right.

I gather that these are the sorts of things that Dr. Pausch was attempting to teach others.  I didn’t need those lessons, though, having already learned them.  Sadly, the ones he was trying to reach probably won’t get it until they themselves experience the death of a spouse.


  1. Most people do not fully understand unless they’ve experienced the excruciating emptiness of loss.

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