The outpouring of grief over Steve Jobs is not unexpected. He was a brilliant innovator, inspiring business leader, a role model — in short, a remarkable guy. But that’s not why I was moved by his death. What touched me was that he was only 56-years-old.
It’s different when we lose someone who’s made it to a ripe old age. Of course we’ll miss them, but when someone goes before their time, that’s tragic.
Dedicated readers of the obituaries, like me, think about this every day. Look how young he was, we say to ourselves. We try to read between the lines to discover the cause of death, and are silently thankful it wasn’t us.
Now that I’m pushing 50, 56 seems very young. And I bet when I’m 70, 76 will seem too young as well.