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Why we mourn Steve Jobs even if we never met him

October 06, 2011|Jean Jadhon | WDBJ-TV Anchor/Reporter

Kathy McCraw of Roanoke now has a photo of Steve Jobs as wallpaper on her iphone. "It's a tribute to him," McCraw said. "I think everyone who has an iphone should do it."

McCraw is one of millions of people worldwide who have Apple products and one of millions who feels a loss upon hearing of Jobs death from pancreatic cancer at just 56 years old.

"I was saddened to hear it," said Jed Scott from Lynchburg. He's a great man. He's done a lot. Apple was sort of the beginning of computers and we're going to miss him."

Otis Cumbie of Roanoke expressed a similar sentiment. "They say he's more about selling magic than technology and it's an experience (using Apple products.)   I have to agree with that."

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Even though most people had heard that Jobs was in declining health and had stepped down as CEO of the very company he started, it still did not take away the sense of loss.   "It wasn't a surprise but still when you hear the news it's real sad," McCraw said.

One Roanoke County based clinical psychologist said it's natural to mourn Jobs even if you never met him, because he embodied the American dream and because his work touched so many lives.

"It became personal to us because so many of us have his products or if we don't have his products we want his products or our kids are begging us for his products," Dr. Lyn Day said.  "And you wonder what's going to become of the industry and that industry and his legacy. I think we do mourn that loss."

To help deal with the news, many people are posting quotes from Jobs on Facebook and Twitter.  Others are expressing their own memories of their first Apple product.  Those social media sites are a way for people to connect, Dr. Day said.  It can be a healthy way to mourn by being part of a larger community that all feels a connection.

Day said children in particular look up to people like jobs because he is someone who shows us that we can be anything we want to be.

"He's somebody everybody would aspire to be. He was brilliant and wealthy and creative," Day said. "His iphone and his imac have influenced so many people and we all would love to be like that."

"To see his life cut so short makes us all aware of our own mortality and it makes us sad that  the American dream doesn't live forever," Dr. Day said.

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