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"I have experienced a deathbed conversion... I just bought a Macintosh."

"... I knew I'd get nine percent of the audience with that."

As noted by the Associated Press today:

Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist whose "last lecture" about facing terminal cancer became an Internet sensation and a best-selling book, has died. He was 47.

Pausch's Carnegie Mellon web site is still online, and it points to a YouTube video of the lecture. It's over an hour long, but is filled with warmth, humor, calisthenics and more. (We have a news video of the story, too.)

UPDATE: Today washingtonpost.com's Rocci Fisch spoke with Wall Street Journal reporter and author Jeffrew Zaslow, who co-wrote "The Last Lecture" with Pausch, about Pausch's life and philosophy. The audio is below.

By Washington Post Editors |  July 25, 2008; 10:15 AM ET
Previous: Chuck Stobbs and Donald Dunaway (UPDATED) | Next: Johnny Griffin, tenor saxophonist

Comments

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This Professor was incredible. He gave hope to a lot of people and when I saw that lecture, it made me want to change around things in my life too. Everyone should watch it.

Posted by: James Jones | July 25, 2008 10:35 AM

I guess that dead is still dead despite the good that he tried to provide us all during his terminal event.

Posted by: Tom Quinton | July 25, 2008 11:08 AM

His YouTube lecture was quite inspiring,I have shared it with a lot of people,may he rest in peace!

Posted by: Alberto | July 25, 2008 11:11 AM

I like to condole Dr. Pausch's family and everyone else in the Carnegie Mellon University. I am sure there are millions of peoples just like me who were touched by his "Last Lecture" speech.

His family should be proud of him and celebrate Dr. Pausch's life because he changed a lot of peoples life in a deep and profound way.

Posted by: Farman A. Moayed | July 25, 2008 11:11 AM

This makes me sad ... his poor family :(

Posted by: Sigh... | July 25, 2008 11:11 AM

In an era marked by greed, selfish, vengeance, vindictiveness, and Dick Cheney, The Professor reminds us all about the greatness of the humor spirit, the warmth of the human heart, and the depth of the human spirit.

That our society seems to reward people disproportionately for their self-centered behavior, pettiness, mean-spirited ways, and simply for being Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh only reminds us of how America, as great as she may be, has lost its way.

We need more people like The Professor, more people who care about other people, more people who give a damn, more people who refuse to believe that their life begins and ends at the tip of their nose or the wheel of Bob Novak's Corvette.

Already I miss The Professor. And I wonder why they aren't more like him. I hope only that somehow, some way, our wonderful nation and mankind as a whole will produce more of his wonderful vintage, more to remind us that a life lived with the other guy and gal in mind is a life of which to be proud.

Posted by: Mark | July 25, 2008 11:18 AM

Dead is dead. The evil, the nasty, the stupid, the ignorant, and the unworthy live on...

"Only the good die young."

Posted by: Oh Well | July 25, 2008 11:18 AM

I read the book recently and have seen snippets of the lecture (am defintiely plannign on watching the whole thing this weekend). I was bawling throughout the book; it was very touching. I had been checking his website daily for his health updates. I am so saddened by this news, even though it was expected. May he rest in peace and be assured that his children will feel his love.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2008 11:19 AM

Its really a shame that people like Mark have to use an occassion like this to make stupid partisan comments.

Posted by: Grillades | July 25, 2008 11:27 AM

I had the pleasure of having him as a Computer Science professor at University of Virginia. I'm truly saddened by this loss, and my thoughts and prayers are for his family.

Posted by: Julian | July 25, 2008 11:28 AM

my condolences to his family. RIP.

Posted by: elizabeth | July 25, 2008 11:31 AM

Very admirable and good, inspiring words. I realize he wants to NOT talk about "spirituality or religion." But.....I sure pray he knew the Lord.

Posted by: Dave | July 25, 2008 11:31 AM

Very sad news, indeed. Randy was an extraordinary man who inspired and will continue, through his last lecture, many people including myself.

Our sympathies to his family and friends.

Posted by: Ramiah Subramanian | July 25, 2008 11:31 AM

I am fighting cancer myself now, and "The Professor" has served as an inspiration to me. The Last Lecture certainly changed my attitude and I am grateful to have heard his inspiring words. My condolences to the family. Thanks for sharing a remarkable man with us.

Posted by: LU | July 25, 2008 11:35 AM

May God grant him and his family peace. He was an inspiration to all of us who have battled cancer. It is a sad day.

Posted by: Bob Caprara | July 25, 2008 11:37 AM

I have been visiting his daily website on a regular basis, and felt something was wrong when he hadn't written in anything after June 26. So sorry he has passed. Though I knew it was going to happen, it is still very sad. I was hoping he was going to be the one who made it. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

Posted by: Janet | July 25, 2008 11:38 AM

This is very sad news. What an inspiration he has been to us all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He will forever live on through his family, his work and his wonderful "Last Lecture".

Posted by: CS | July 25, 2008 11:43 AM

To Jai, Dylan, Logan and Chloe - thank you for sharing Randy with us.

Posted by: T. J. | July 25, 2008 11:48 AM

Why do people have to inject silly politics into this gentleman's legacy. He is an inspiration to all people no matter what their political persuasion happens to be. because in the end there is no color, politics, or any other differences that we hold so dear while on this earth.

Posted by: Mark | July 25, 2008 11:50 AM

I am going to live my life following the advice of Randy Pausch. He did not give up his love for life even when facing death. This we should all keep in mind when facing our own little adversities in our lives.

Posted by: kalyan katuri | July 25, 2008 11:52 AM

It was sad to watch and read the works (especially his blog) of this wonderful man who was in denial about the end result of his battle with cancer.

Mark Auman
Las Vegas

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2008 11:54 AM

It's sad that he died. His courage in the face of death is an inspiration. May his soul rest in peace.

Posted by: George | July 25, 2008 11:56 AM

Thank you Dr. Pausch. Rest in peace and God bless your family. I hope the owners of Washington's football team accept your message of goodwill and change the name of the team to one that is less offensive to Native Americans.

Posted by: Karl | July 25, 2008 11:56 AM

For those of you who wrote "dead is dead" you probably didn't get "The Professor's" lesson. How sad that you didn't. Life is good, sharing happiness with others is good, love is good. Keep trying to understand and find a lesson that you can relate to.

Posted by: JBS | July 25, 2008 11:57 AM

I am sad at this wonderful man's passing, but comforted by the intelligent, courteous, and like-minded posts here. We were fortunate indeed to share a part of Dr. Pausch's life, if only vicariously. I hope we all can live up to his example, not only following our dreams, but encouraging the dreams of others. In that way, we can make his fine work live on. He won't be here to make the world better for his children, but we can, and should.

Posted by: Bess in WV | July 25, 2008 11:58 AM

Its really a shame that people like Mark have to use an occassion like this to make stupid partisan comments.

Posted by: Grillades | July 25, 2008 11:27 AM

Grillades,
Very well put. Mark, with his asinine rant, has unwittingly proven himself to be as vile and uncouth as those whom he apparently despises.

Posted by: HisRoc | July 25, 2008 12:03 PM

My sister, also a teacher, has stage 4 liver cancer.

Cancer is the worst. The most unfair illness ever.

Rest well, my friend. You did good.

Posted by: Silver Spring | July 25, 2008 12:04 PM

I hope he got to read the last installment of the sure-to-win-a-Pulitzer coverage of the Chandra Levy story

Posted by: Ombudsman | July 25, 2008 12:04 PM

WRT the comment, "I sure pray he knew the lord"...Obviously he actually lived and practiced the teachings of Jesus, which is an inspiration to even those of us who do not profess to be "Christian".

Posted by: FLTNVA | July 25, 2008 12:05 PM

Randy Pausch died of pancreatic cancer. It's a horrible disease and there is no test for it which means that by the time you are diagnosed, treatment is difficult. The Professor was lucky in that he could have the Whipple operation and that helped him live long enough to inspire all of us who never met him in person. I urge those of you who are mourning Dr. Pausch to consider supporting the organization his family has recommended: the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN.org). I am sorry that he has died, but I am grateful for his life.

Posted by: Adora | July 25, 2008 12:18 PM

I first saw Randy on ABC's PrimeTime with Diane Sawyer... and was blown away by his character and spirit. He also hit me like an atom bomb that night when he revealed his first sign of Pancreatic Cancer -- floating stools. That was me! I emailed him, he shot right back to get it tested with a CT Scan or ultrasound because every single day counted. He said "move FAST!" He got tons of attention after PrimeTime in March or April, probably before that, so answering my email was just one more sign of his stellar character. My CT Scan came back negative, but I'm still pursuing the matter as to why. Randy will be missed, but he was a godsend to many who learned from his spirit. Thank you Randy.

Posted by: Ken from Phoenix | July 25, 2008 12:21 PM

now there's a conversion! he got a mac! and not a moment too soon! wow.
that's class.
the hokey pokey: that's what it's all about.
his lecture was wonderful, but if he really got that mac, thought about 9%... he made me a believer!
thank you.
now let me go and do likewise. (I've already got a mac, but I haven't got my "marching" papers yet. and that's no joke)
thank you sir for the lesson.

Posted by: gberke | July 25, 2008 12:21 PM

TJ said it best...the thanks go to his wonderful family. We are all indebted to his family for sharing him with us during these past two years.

Posted by: JP | July 25, 2008 12:21 PM

Prof. Pausch was obviously a one-of-a-kind inspiration to all those he met or heard him speak. I envy those who knew and studied under him. I've never been so sad or grieved so deeply for somone I've never met.

My heart and prayers go out to his wife, children, family and academic family.

Posted by: Debbie - Boca Raton, FL | July 25, 2008 12:28 PM

No words can express this feeling of loss. Randy Pausch was truly an inspiration. It gets you thinking about how valuable our lives are. As a Christian but being mindful of the other religions that may be represented on these comment pages, I know that he is in a much better place now.

I promise to live every day to the fullest and know that I am not worthless. I have a purpose on this Earth. Suffering and struggles are only a part of the growing...

Posted by: David B. Lee | July 25, 2008 12:47 PM

It is said that we lost such a good man. In my family, I see my Dad dealing with kidney cancer which is also the worst kind of cancer and it is causing enormous amount of pain in his legs and getting worst every day.

Well my prayers go out to Randy's family. May God bless us all. Thank You.

Posted by: Shehzad | July 25, 2008 12:54 PM

Nice of you to bring your hatred of Dick Cheney into the discussion. This about Randy not about the darkness of your soul.

RIP Randy

Posted by: Mark | July 25, 2008 12:58 PM

Well put, Mark.
***
The world has lost a talented, bright young professor very much too soon to the throes of a vicious disease.
I hope one day we will conquer these diseases.
My condolences to his family, who should be so proud of his accomplishments.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2008 1:21 PM

I heard the professor speak on NPR many times and I was inspired and moved by his beautiful message of life. My most sincere condolences to his family, friends and students. Godspeed Randy Rausch.

Posted by: Gardenia | July 25, 2008 1:22 PM

Randy Pausch was a true inspiration of how to live gracefully, authentically, and purposefully. His words, while intended for his children inspired all who listened to his lecture or read his book. If we all even made the smallest attempt to live as he did, the world we indeed be a better place.

My condolences to his family and friends.

Posted by: Jamie | July 25, 2008 1:29 PM

What a powerful message! I watched the "last lecture" with my faculty "Senate" members during our annual "retreat" in June'08.
The lecture reminds us of---why living a meaningful and purposeful life---is important.
May his soul rest in peace.
Dr.Mohammed Nadeem
School of Business and Management
National University,
San Jose, California

Posted by: Mohammed Nadeem, Ph.D. | July 25, 2008 1:37 PM

Someone above stated it best "only the good die young"....While it's very sad to no longer have the professor on this planet with us, we will never forget what he taught us. Rest in peace Mr. Pausch.

Posted by: JohnV | July 25, 2008 1:39 PM

As I write this the tears are just beginning to dry. This is the moment that all of what he said as he taught us how to live drives home. It no longer matters what kind of car you drove, whether you were skinny or fat or stained your new shirt and it never did. This very moment as you read this is irretrievable. He taught us to treasure it, to do good for others, to kiss another's "owee" away at every opportunity. We should all celebrate this man's life. He taught us how to live and how to die. Thanks Prof!!

Posted by: HiloBob | July 25, 2008 1:49 PM

Bon Voyage Randy, your star will burn bright for the rest of us mortals to follow.

Posted by: Terry | July 25, 2008 1:55 PM

How fascinating--all the adulation. Compared to the noxious notes about pore ol' Tony Snow's recent death.

I think of myself as a political inde-endent, believing most Gop'ers and Dem's are in bed with whomever pays 'em. Both parties, babies. Ka-ching!

Pausch's book was lovely. I'm sad he's dead. Sad almost everyone is dead--save a few really Bad Actors.

Let's take the politics out of our humanity, puh-lease.

Pausch was a grand human being, who wrote about more than himself. So was Snow. So was...Tommy Corcoran.

All...rest in peace.

Posted by: mf tillman | July 25, 2008 2:01 PM

I always wondered why as a kid (and a grown up, I must admit) why I liked Star Trek. After Randy I know why. He really helped surface things that are buried in our hearts and mind. Now that they are more in our conscious we need to act on it. That's the good that Randy brought to my wife and I after listening to his lectures.

Thanks Randy and Family

Posted by: Greg | July 25, 2008 2:02 PM

Thank you Prof Pausch for sharing his dreams and life adventures. Deepest condolences to his family.

Posted by: stardust | July 25, 2008 2:11 PM

i knew it was coming, but reading this headline made me really sad. his words meant a lot to me and others. he shows us that strangers and their words can make a positive impact on each other. my condolences to Randy's wife, children, family, and friends.

Posted by: chai | July 25, 2008 2:17 PM

My father died of pancreatic cancer over 18 years ago. We only had two months from diagnosis to his death. As a previous poster noted, PC is usually too far progressed before diagnosis so it's too late for treatment once it's found. Life expectancy after diagnosis is 3 to 6 months. It is an equal opportunity disease -- men, women, black, white, Christian, Jew, gay, straight or celibate can get it. Funding for research is only about $1100 per patient, the least funded of the four leading cancers. Fortunately in the Washington DC area there are top-notch medical centers that are now focusing on research and treatment options. One is the Sol Goldman Center at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.

There are two advocacy groups focusing on pancreatic cancer: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) based in California at www.pancan.org, and the Lustgarten Foundation on Long Island at www.lustgartenfoundation.org. I urge anyone who knows a PC patient to look at those websites, get involved in advocacy activities, organize fundraising events and awareness activities to bring this horrible disease into the spotlight.

Posted by: South of the Beltway | July 25, 2008 2:19 PM

May all the lecture hall angels and designated saints of the classroom lift Professor Pausch quickly to the most satisfying seat at the most engaging intellectual round table, so he may join the paradise of his dreams in style.
And may his family be well comforted in their time of loss.
His gifts were phenomenal...

Posted by: Jess Freher-Lyons | July 25, 2008 2:21 PM

Thank you, Randy, for sharing your wisdom with us. I am grateful for having the blessing of recieving your message. My sincerest condolences go to Randy's family God bless you.

Posted by: Ava | July 25, 2008 2:22 PM

It was really surreal and sad to hear about his death today. It was just yesterday that I was checking his website to see if he had updated. After watching his 'last lecture' and reading the book, what I really admired about him was that unlike most people, who only start 'living' after something bad happens to them, he had been really living his whole life, and he strove to succeed not only for himself, but to help others.
What a guy! What a hero! My most sincere condolences to his wife and kids at this time.

Posted by: Danny | July 25, 2008 2:26 PM

I lost a great friend and remarkable woman to pancreatic cancer. My deepest sympathies to Randy's family. The question is: how can we who are still blessed with health live in the moment with such vitality and generosity as well as did these people facing a deadly disease? I join with the other reader who invited you to visit pancan.org to learn more about pancreatic cancer and to donate if you can.

Posted by: mkc | July 25, 2008 2:36 PM

Rest in peace, Randy.

Memento mori, memento vitam.

Posted by: Thierry K. | July 25, 2008 2:40 PM

I watched his "last lecture" and was deeply moved. What an extraordinary human being. He touched all of us who had the privilege of receiving some of his wisdom.

Most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

Posted by: SkyBeaver | July 25, 2008 2:42 PM

He most definitely had an impact on me forever. He had such valor and grace throughout his battle with cancer. His legacy continues in his wife and children.

Posted by: Alma | July 25, 2008 2:46 PM

South of the Beltway: My father died of PC 16 years ago, 6 weeks from diagnosis to death. He was a great father, I don't know if 69 is young, but "only the good die young" is not true at all. I'm of the belief that there is heaven on earth and I know that Randy Pausch experienced it. He was a very lucky man, a rich and beautiful life, full of love, triumph, happiness, fulfillment in 360 degrees.

Posted by: West of the Mississippi | July 25, 2008 3:01 PM

I was just waiting for some moronic peasant to bring in Bush or Cheney or Iraq into a story about someone who was truly inspirational.

Some people seriously need mental help, and that poster is one of them.


Posted by: Andrew | July 25, 2008 3:14 PM

West of the Mississippi: I know what you mean. My dad was only 68 when he died; had never been sick in his life except for a broken leg at 16. He was a WWII veteran, grew up during the Depression so he was a member of the Greatest Generation. A father of 4, grandfather of 4, and a dear, sweet, gentle man. I still miss him terribly.

In my volunteer work with PC folks I've heard of patients dying only one month after diagnosis and one died only 4 days after PC was diagnosed! Most of the time the doctor will simply tell the patient 'Put your affairs in order.'

Posted by: South of the Beltway | July 25, 2008 3:16 PM

I'd not seen or heard about Randy Pausch in about 30 years until my mother emailed me about the "Last Lecture" on YouTube with the link. I watched it enthralled and inspired as so many others, and I failed to recognize the face of that generous and nerdy adolescent I used to play touch football with down the street. It was a little unusual for my mom to send me such a message. I only pieced it together that I knew this guy the next day when I was sharing the "lecture" with my wife. I felt a rush of excitement as well as sadness to realize the enormous success that Randy had achieved in his life as an educator, father and husband, and what an enormous loss his passing would be to all of those now close to him. Despite his terminal illness, I could only marvel at how productively he used his life to touch so many in such a positive way--even without considering the "Last Lecture". I only knew him a short time when we were teenagers, but I'm so happy and proud to learn about the life he led and what he gave back to his community, and I'm distraught about the gap that he leaves behind in the lives of his family members. God Bless them, and God bless Randy. What an extraordinary man he turned out to be!

Posted by: Andy | July 25, 2008 3:18 PM

A truely wonderful human being; warm of heart, intelligent, loving and encouraging to all, insights and wisdom beyond his years. He will be sorely missed by so very many. His life was not lived in vain. He made a positive difference on the planet. Thank You Dr. Pausch. RIP

Posted by: Mary Morris Billings | July 25, 2008 3:22 PM

Anyone who wishes to draw parallels in the areas of Kindness, Decency, and Living for One's Community (and NOT one's self) between The Professor and, say, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, and Karl Rove is welcome to do it.

One always enjoys good reading.

Posted by: George Orwell | July 25, 2008 3:29 PM

My heart breaks for The Proff's family and I hope that they find some comfort in knowing how he touched so many lives these past months. He taught us all so much about just living, dreaming, and most of all just being in the moment.

Dr. Pausch...YOU are the greatest and always shall be!

Posted by: PER-Farmville, VA | July 25, 2008 4:07 PM

Truly the most inspiring lecture I've ever experienced. Life-altering. May he rest in peace.

Posted by: Mackenzie Wescott | July 25, 2008 4:10 PM

I read The Last Lecture a couple of months ago, and there are lessons to be learned. It is almost like I've lost a long-time friend. The book and lecture of Dr. Pausch will lead us in a better path, hopefully, and allow us to suffer those around us who do not truly appreciate each day that we are given as a blessing.

As an aside, I would go along with what seems to be the majority view that snide political comments have no place in this tribute to a gentle and caring man.

Posted by: Tom - Fairfax | July 25, 2008 4:19 PM

Dr. Pauch lived more and did more in his 47 years than most of us would do in 3 lifetimes.

Do not be sad for him. Be sad for his students and children. They have lost a brilliant teacher.

Posted by: R. Wolf | July 25, 2008 4:21 PM

My condolences to Randy Pausch's family. He was an inspiration to millions around the world for letting us share his journey. He lived his life to the fullest and faced the calamity of his illness with humor and faith in God. May the memories and love that he shared with his family and friends be his legacy to be cherished forever. God bless you, Randy Pausch.

Posted by: Jaye | July 25, 2008 4:29 PM

An inspiration to us all.

He will be missed for his wisdom, wit and clarity of thought. But most off all for his empowering those he came in touch with to build a stronger world out of his tragedy.

God Bless and Thank you,

Firoze

Posted by: Firoze Rao | July 25, 2008 4:37 PM

My heart goes out to Randy's family. I know they cherished every moment they got to spend with him and he and Jai did all they could to create an accessible legacy for their beautiful kids. May their support system and their wonderful memories given them strength in the days ahead.

Read his book, watch the lecture, and do everything in your power to capture some little bit of Randy's enthusiasm for life. We all have a terminal condition, so get out there and make the most of your time.

Posted by: restonmom | July 25, 2008 4:38 PM

An inspiration to us all.

He will be missed for his wisdom, wit and clarity of thought. But most off all for his empowering those he came in touch with to build a stronger world out of his tragedy.

God Bless and Thank you,

Firoze

Posted by: Firoze Rao | July 25, 2008 4:42 PM

For some unknow reason I thought of Randy Pausch today as I was trying to decided what else to do w/my life. I turned on my computer...& there was the sad news of his death, and ....I could hear his message "....embrace each day...." Randy Pausch, thank you again. My prayers to his wife, children, family and academic family

Posted by: V in CHEVY CHASE | July 25, 2008 4:43 PM

A small part of me had begun to believe that, after this much time passing, Randy had used his strength of spirit to somehow overcome his cancer. I knew it wasn't medically possible, but the inspirational way he talked about childhood dreams in his book and "Last Lecture" made it seem that anything was possible.

Randy, Rest in Peace and condolences to your family.

Posted by: Matt | July 25, 2008 4:43 PM

As a recent Carnegie Mellon graduate, I had the honor of seeing one of Dr. Pausch's last public appearances at our commencement in May. I will always remember how he ended his speech by picking up his wife off her feet and giving her a kiss while carrying her off stage. His actions revealed not only his attitude towards life, but also his sometimes goofy personality. My heart goes out to his family.

"We don't beat the reaper by living longer; we beat the repaer by living well."

Posted by: Eric | July 25, 2008 4:51 PM

I did not know Mark until today. Sometimes God puts you at a crossroads that allows you to experience other people's lives. This was one of my crossroads. Thanks, Mark. Very nice talk.

Posted by: Ken | July 25, 2008 5:01 PM

Sorry, I meant Randy...

Posted by: Ken | July 25, 2008 5:03 PM

+May his soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon him.

The world has lost a real icon. My heart goes out to his wife and children.

Posted by: +Frank Gentsch | July 25, 2008 5:12 PM

I guess one lesson he taught is to not wait until your 40s to have children. Life is short and extended childhoods lead to abbreviated adulthoods.

Posted by: WDannen | July 25, 2008 5:47 PM

Randy Pausch was a wise professor and a profound person who offered a remarkable lesson on living with humanity. His death is terribly sad and a colossal loss.

Posted by: Aimee La Fountain | July 25, 2008 5:57 PM

If any one person could capsulize how to be both spiritual and a realist as far as
living as if each moment were the last, and
to appreciate those moments with fullness,
it was Randy Pausch. May his spirit continue to provide hope and light to humanity. As for those who are terminally
ill, I would hope Randy provided the incentive to live as fully as one is capabale of.

Posted by: Jet-Man | July 25, 2008 6:16 PM

An amazing man with an amazing message. My deepest condolences to the family & friends.

Posted by: Jeanne Siracuse | July 25, 2008 6:32 PM

His life and death brings to mind a poem that I repeat to myself every time I think of the loss of my dear wife and so many others who graced this world for a time:
Dirge without Music

Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Posted by: andrew sonner | July 25, 2008 7:13 PM

Mark,

Thank you for your intelligent and insightful post. I know how you feel: It is sad when bitter, spiteful, hate-filled people rise to prominence while someone like Randy Pausch, who was practically the personification of decency, is taken away from us too soon.

Let's hope that we begin electing and listening to people because they earn our respect as human beings. If we need a litmus test for office, let it not be one based on religion, abortion, taxes, guns, or immigration. Let's make it one based on integrity, honesty, loyalty, and intelligence -- the qualities in Randy Pausch which so impressed us all.

Posted by: Fred | July 25, 2008 8:00 PM

The audio clip for this is atrocious. "How is this different from...." Please.

Better to have just linked to the YouTube clip and let the man speak for himself.


Posted by: Charles in DC | July 25, 2008 8:48 PM

He was one of the best humans living with us his last days he tried to give us hope and love- he will be remembered for his thoughts and beautiful soul and reminded me to Carl Sagan : a genius.

Posted by: Korki | July 25, 2008 9:04 PM

Mark,

Thank you for your intelligent and insightful post. I know how you feel: It is sad when bitter, spiteful, hate-filled people rise to prominence while someone like Randy Pausch, who was practically the personification of decency, is taken away from us too soon.

Let's hope that we begin electing and listening to people because they earn our respect as human beings. If we need a litmus test for office, let it not be one based on religion, abortion, taxes, guns, or immigration. Let's make it one based on integrity, honesty, loyalty, and intelligence -- the qualities in Randy Pausch which so impressed us all.

Posted by: Fred | July 25, 2008 8:00 PM

Fred,

Thank you.

If one wishes for personal political purposes, one can easily use, say, Bill Clinton, Terry McAuliffe, James Carville, and Ted Kennedy (of fatal driving infamy) in my earlier post.

I wanted to make a point not of a partisan nature; instead, I simply find it at times maddening that the self-serving and scandalous among us succeed while the kind, honest, and decent, such as the Professor, seem to suffer and that this occurs all too often at rates of disproportion.

Perhaps, if we chose to care a little more about each other and a little less about a life that begins and ends solely with ourselves as individuals, ours would be a better nation and, perhaps, even a better world.

Idealistic, perhaps, yet the words of a man I met a few years back echo in my ears as I type these words.

"Community," he said, "is just one step shy of Communism."

Of course, I can now add, "selfless is merely the inverse side of selfish."

The Professor made so many of us think about our lives and our world. May we employ his message in our daily actions and deeds. May his words not fall silent. May his message not grow dim. May his memory exist in us all.

Thank you for your time.

Posted by: Mark | July 25, 2008 11:34 PM

Jai, Dr. Randy's wife, is the heroine in this sad and brave passing. She was like stone and soul, mixed together, facing the darkness to come with tender fear and memory. Her countenance, stoic and vulnerable, as she spoke about the future. She shelters her young ones under her wings and gazes at a star fleeting away, dusk turning to night. Jai will carry on. She was, is, and will be Dr. Randy's banner. God bless you Jai, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe.

Posted by: Kalai | July 25, 2008 11:43 PM

my sympathy to mr pausch's family. people such as mr. pausch are guides to ohers facing death. mr. pausch chose not to spend his remaining time dying but rather living! thank you to his family for sharing this wonderful inspirational man.

Posted by: cecelia | July 26, 2008 7:59 AM

I feel very sad for his family and children.I appreciated his lectures on living,when facing death. I myself is dying with cancer and have only months to live. Let's face it being who he was and having millions he got the best treatment and was able to be made comfortable with his pain. I do not have this luxery,when I suffer day to day with pain and living paycheck to paycheck not getting a Dr. who cares.Just being another number to them. I live in the Pittsburgh area and had to go to the ER the other night and they finally took me after 5 hours of waiting. I pray that God takes this bitterness out of my heart. But if everyone is just a little bit honest with themself it is about who you know,who you are,and a 6million bank account. For those of you who read this please do not judge me for being honest,but pray for my cancer that God will take me fast and let me quit suffering.Thankyou

Posted by: Anonymous | July 26, 2008 12:14 PM

Rest in peace Randy. You have been a wonderful human being.
Long may your spirit live amongst us ...

Posted by: HY | July 31, 2008 2:19 AM

Thanks to this man's sharing of his experiences and wonderful last lecture that opens up a lot of people's minds and yes he is a very inspiring person. May he rest in peace!

Posted by: anibal | August 4, 2008 4:31 PM

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