Jul 25, 2008

Randy Pausch Has Died + Update on Jai Pausch and Family

2008--2016 Updates through time.
Missing a remarkable man...

Latest Update on Randy Pausch Funeral/Memorial Service:
Randy Pausch Funeral/Memorial Service Video:
Dr. Randy Pausch Video Obituary

August 17, 2008
Carnegie Mellon University plans Randy Pausch Memorial Walk
Funeral Service to be held at CMU in the Fall
Footbridge Planned...see bottom of this post for details and quotes

July 25, 2008The latest update on CMU Professor, Randy Pausch ( husband to Jai, father to Dylan 7, Logan 4, and Chloe,2) is that Randy Pausch has died.

The Last Lecture: A Celebration of Life (ABC Tuesday Night)

My heart was hurting all night long. I should have sensed that I was feeling the pain of a nation as we lost Randy Pausch to pancreatic cancer. ABC's "Good Morning America” reported Friday morning that Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, 47, had died. GMA’s Diane Sawyer received a phone call from the family early Friday morning, letting her know the sad news.

Last August, doctors told Carnegie Mellon University professor Dr. Randy Pausch that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer and only had months to live. Almost a year later, with his story reaching out and touching people around the world, and launching interest in this amazing man and his story, Randy Pausch died Friday at age 47.

With months to live, Pausch gave his famous “Last Lecture” at CMU in September 2007. As Randy, explained there's an academic tradition called the 'Last Lecture.' at Carnegie Mellon. Professors give it before they retire. Randy knew, after his diagnosis, that he wanted to give his own final lecture on "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" . He would talk about his life's journey and the lessons he's learned along the way, talk to his students, but always with the intent of leaving the video-taped lecture, as his own final legacy, for his three small children.

That September 18, 2007 lecture before 400 people at Carnegie Mellon University was complete with slides of his CT scans and a description of the cancer that was devouring his pancreas and that would most likely claim in his life in a matter of months. Randy Pausch's 'Last Lecture" was video-taped and ended up on the Internet where it has since been downloaded more than 6 million times. Randy Pausch ended up being on You Tube, and on the Oprah Show ,where he reprised his "Last Lecture". Randy was also featured on an ABC special called "The Last Lecture: A Love Story for Your Life" where the family formed a strong link with ABC news reporter, Diane Sawyers.

This amazing man and his overwhelmingly inspirational speech has reached, touched and exploded 10 million hearts. It's not just a speech about achieving childhood dreams, or living your life, or what you would do if you were told that you only had six months left to live.

"Any professor will tell you there's some lectures you have to pull them out of yourself, and there's some that just pour. This talk wrote itself."

Randy's talk may have written itself, but it was a final accomplishment to put that talk into book form. The entire, original transcript of Professor Randy Pausch, of Carnegie Mellon University and his unforgettable speech "The Last Lecture" delivered on Sept. 18, 2007 here: PDF download of "The Last Lecture"

Randy had reported, as of May 28th, that the latest round of chemo created debilitating side effects and was discontinued. Previously, Randy has been involved in a number of experimental drug trials and each time, the side effects and the drugs, themselves, have created such extreme problems that they have had to all be discontinued.

Doctors continued to try to improve his general health so as to try continuing attacks against the tumors, which had spread. Randy reported on June 10th, that he had received a letter from President and Mrs. Bush at the White House, where they expressed their support and prayers for his continuing strength and comfort.

Randy and his wife, Jai attended the graduation ceremonies for the May, 2008 graduating class at Carnegie Mellon. Randy presented a copy of his book "The Last Lecture" to Al Gore during the commencement ceremonies and was honored with his 'giving of the charge ' at the end of the ceremonies to the young students there that day. He told the audience at Carnegie Mellon that his doctors had given him about five more months to live, but that he wasn't going to talk about his cancer or his family. Instead, he would concentrate on the valuable lessons he had learned during his life and the joy he had experienced.

"If I don't seem as morose or depressed as I should be -- sorry to disappoint you," he said, and then wowed the crowd by dropping to the floor and doing several pushups to show how strong he felt.View here: YouTube - Randy Pausch Inspires Graduates

Randy Pausch was included in TIME Magazine's 2008 list of the world's 100 most influential people. His book, "The Last Lecture," co-written by Jeff Zaslow of the Wall Street Journal and based on Pausch's now-famous talk "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," is a New York Times #1 bestseller.

When asked about his hopes for the book, a book which continues to be on the bestseller list today, Randy said "I only care about the first three copies." (meaning as a legacy for his 3 children, ages 2,4, and 7.

Randy Pausch knew he was going to die, but that didn't stop him from truly living, his greatest belief was 'in having fun' in truly 'living your life to the fullest.' Randy was given 6 months and managed to stretch out that time span into almost 2 years. He died, as he lived, doing all he could do to live his life to the fullest, to leaving a legacy of memories behind for his loved ones and for inspiring others...not just in a classroom at Carnegie Mellon, but in places all over the world.

As Randy said in an interview: "I'm pleased to do what good I can on the way 'out of the building'. It's hard to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer-people who get it don't live long enough."

Steve Seabolt, a vice president at video game maker Electronic Arts and one of Dr. Pausch's best friends, was with him when he died at about 4 a.m. in Chesapeake, Va., where he moved after his final lecture to spend his remaining time with his wife, children and family. He has said that Randy remained lucid until near the end, and while his energy was depleted, he even had made a couple of trips up and down the stairs of home the day before he died.

To me, that truly symbolizes the kind of man he was, the way he continued to try his very best to live as long as possible for his wife and chidlren and to continue to increase awareness of this incredibly challenging form of cancer.

And, as Randy has said: "My wife Jai has been an incredible source of stability and courage through all this. We both agree that "you can't control the cards you're dealt, just how you play the hand."

During a visit in 1998 to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to give a lecture on virtual reality, Pausch met and fell in love with his future wife. They were married in 2000 and lived in Shadyside until moving to Chesapeake.

"She's one of the only people I'd ever met who could stand up to me, and her wit and beauty compelled me to want to spend the rest of my life with her," Pausch said in an interview with the Tribune-Review shortly after learning his cancer would be fatal.

Given the chance to contribute to his own obituary, Pausch requested that this message be passed on to readers:

"In lieu of flowers," he said. "Use the money to increase your life insurance if you have kids."

In addition to his wife and children, Pausch is survived by his mother, Virginia Pausch, of Columbia, Md., and a sister, Tamara Mason of Lynchburg, Va. The family plans a private burial in Virginia. Carnegie Mellon is planning a memorial, as is The First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh in Shadyside.

Please continue to focus loving thoughts and prayers in memory of Randy and for his wife, Jai, and their three young children...Dylan, Logan , and Chloe.

Funeral Arrangements:
Dr. Randy Pausch's family plans a private funeral in Virginia, and Carnegie Mellon University officials said that they would schedule a memorial service at a date yet to be announced.
Randy Pausch Memorial:
Last September, Carnegie Mellon announced a plan to honor Pausch's memory as the tireless advocate and enabler of collaboration between artistic and technical faculty members, that he was. They will construct a Randy Pausch Memorial Footbridge, which will connect the Gates Center for Computer Science with an adjacent arts building.

"Based on your talk, we're thinking of putting a brick wall on either end," joked President Cohon To Randy Pausch, last September as he announced the future of the planned memorial. He went on to say:

"Randy, there will be generations of students and faculty who will not know you, but they will cross that bridge and see your name and they'll ask those of us who did know you. And we will tell them."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Randy Pausch Funeral/Memorial Service Video:
Dr. Randy Pausch Video Obituary
For the last news posted on Randy's own blog: Update on Randy Pausch: in his own words
July 25th, 2008
Randy died this morning of complications from pancreatic cancer. The CMU news story is here
July 24th, 2008:
The cancer is progressingA biopsy last week revealed that the cancer has progresed further than we had thought from recent PETscans. Since last week, Randy has also taken a step down and is much sicker than he had been. He's now enrolled in hospice. He's no longer able to post here so I'm a friend posting on his behalf because we know that many folks are watching this space for updates.
Donations in memory of Randy Pausch:
The family requests that donations on his behalf be directed to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 2141 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 7000, El Segundo, CA 90245, or to Carnegie Mellon's Randy Pausch Memorial Fund, which the university will use primarily to support continued work on the Alice project.

For more information on Randy's life and legacy, read In Memoriam: Randy Pausch, Innovative Computer Scientist at Carnegie Mellon, Launched Education Initiatives, Gained Worldwide Acclaim for Last Lecture.

Previous links and posts:
Randy Pausch's Home Page
The story of Randy's diagnosis of pancreatic cancer
Update on Randy Pausch: in his own words
Randy's famous "Last Lecture."The Last Lecture:Randy's Book, just released!
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture - UPDATE ETC Global News
Journeys Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
YouTube - The last lecture of Randy Pausch 1
ABC News: Dying Professor's Lecture of a Lifetime
The Last Lecture:Randy's Book, just released!
The Last Lecture: Transcript Link
June 2008:Randy Pausch: Update
Read or Print off a copy of his transcript of The Last Lecture:Transcript of Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture" as delivered at Carnegie Mellon University on Sept. 18, 2007

July 25, 2008 Randy Pausch Has Died
July 29, 2008 The Last Lecture: A Celebration of Life (ABC Tuesday Night)
Latest Update: July 31, 2008 The Gift of an Enduring Legacy


Jai Pausch, wife of Randy, and his 3 children have all been doing as well as they can after such a devastating loss. The family visited Disney World last February and when Dylan Pausch, 7, smiled as he wrapped his arms around a giant stuffed animal, it brought tears to his mom Jai's eyes. "That was something," she says, "Randy loved to do."

Now, 10 months after his death, Jai, 43, is making her way, even as she copes with enormous grief. "The knot in my chest has subsided," she says. "The pain is there, but life is going on for us."

Still fresh in her memory is the excruciating moment on July 25, 2008, when she broke the devastating news to the children—Dylan, then 6, Logan, 3, and Chloe, just a baby. "I said, 'Daddy didn't want to die; he loved you very much,'" Jai recalls. "It was awful." Their reactions were heart-wrenching. "Dylan said, 'Well, I'm the next to die in the family,'" Jai recalls. "I had to reassure him, 'You're not gonna die.'"

At first she made a daily habit of watching Randy's lecture about his childhood dreams and what he'd learned about life. "I needed to see him, watch him move, hear his voice," says Jai, who was earning her master's in comparative literature when she met Randy, a guest lecturer, at the University of North Carolina in 1998. "But it was like tearing the scab off every time. I had to stop doing it."

These days she foucuses on her children and fixing up their Virginia home, where they moved shortly before Randy's death to be closer to her family. Her greatest joy is watching, playing, and being with her children.

"They've been so resilient," says Jai of Dylan, a budding scientist; Logan, now 4, a Batman enthusiast; and the proudly toilet-trained Chloe, 3. Recently, with Jai's help, they planted a garden. "Jai's doing what Randy knew she'd do: raise them right," says Randy's coauthor, Jeff Zaslow. "She's one of the strongest women I know."

And one of the busiest. Despite her hectic schedule, she has recently taken up tennis—"I have to be engaged, so I can't think about making dinner or the anniversary of Randy's death"—and has started making new friends. Some years from now, when the kids are ready, she'll show them the lecture. "It's Randy in a bottle," she says. "They'll get to see their father at his finest. That's a wonderful gift."

Ands she ends by saying: "I think of what we could have had, and wish it would have been."

Update 2012 on Jai Pausch:

MAY 24 2012
Dream New Dreams, Jai Pausch, Randy Pausch, Last Lecture 
A remarkably frank, deeply moving and thematically rich memoir about death, dying and the grieving process, by the wife of the late Randy Pausch, author of THE LAST LECTURE.

H‘I asked Jai what she has learned since my diagnosis,’ Randy Pausch wrote about his wife in The Last Lecture. ‘Turns out, she could write a book titled Forget the Last Lecture; Here’s the Real Story.’

In Dream New Dreams, Jai Pausch shares her own story for the first time: her emotional journey from wife and mother to full-time caregiver, shuttling between her three young children and Randy’s bedside as he sought treatment far from home; and then to widow and single parent, fighting to preserve a sense of stability for her family, while coping with her own grief and the challenges of running a household without a partner.


Jai Pausch: The Memory Project

"One of the most poignant and enlightening moments of the memoir for me comes near the very end of Randy’s journey with cancer. Jai does not sugarcoat the impact that cancer had on their relationship as husband and wife, and how she often struggled to maintain the household, raise three young children essentially alone, and try to be a loving caregiver to Randy. In the last month of his life, they make one last trip together for an experimental cancer treatment. Jai admits that they were not getting along. In front of a social worker at the hospital, Randy said something about his wife that hurt her deeply."

“He said he felt I was unempathetic: doing a great job of all the things anyone could do, and a terrible job on the things only I could do"
Jai recounts what their wise psychologist suggested when Jai told her the crushing words Randy had said: “He wants you to tell him you’re going to miss him when he’s dead.”

"That is blunt advice to be sure, but it was a breakthrough moment for Jai as a caregiver. Jai was working so hard to maintain a stoic exterior, to not make Randy feel guilty about how much pain she was going to feel when he died that she was coming off as cold and uncaring to him. So on the doctor’s advice, she went to Randy and cried and expressed how much she was going to miss him. Jai says Randy was comforted."

Update 2016:
Dylan Pausch:


Quiltdivajulie said...

We were blessed by this extraordinary human being ~ may we never forget his example.

Unknown said...

I felt like I truly knew Randy Pausch....he was / and IS an inspiration to me and my six sons. He will truly live on in all of us...God bless Jai and the family. They completed the circle of love.

Bee Quilter said...

Best articles, source of information, video, and updates on Randy Pausch, his wife, Jai, and their beautiful children. Bless you for your heart and your articulate writing.

michael slusher said...

October 9th 2010

And to honor the memory of Randy Pausch, I am posting this beautiful poem I had written and given to my Dad in his last months before his passing in 1993.


Your Faltherly love
And values shared
will guide us in life,
like a beacon in the night...

But it is within us,
And in our chilfren's children
that your light that will forever burn.
for it is this light...
your greatest gift,
like a beacon in the night.

We need only search within
To find your guiding light,
as it will be your inspiration
that will begin again
to re-kindle their light,
a beacon that they will come to know.

And, if it is in HIS will,
That I shall grow wise and age
and in the autumn on my life,
I shall reflect on this light...

For a new generation in another
Time and place,
will have what I've come to know
like a beacon in the night...

~michael slusher yh/michaeltr7

Anonymous said...

I've just re-read Randy's book and have been thinking of Jai and the children. I keep them in my thoughts and prayers.


Lydia Ferguson said...

I Have Read Randy's book several times and I watch his lecture , it still feels as thou I knew the family , so inspirational even now, I pray for his wife Jai and the children. god bless you

doncashin said...

just read Randy's book that I found at a second hand store. I thought that I had spent too much on it at the time but but quickly realized that it was worth many times what I paid. Thank you Randy. Your book,your words and your incite has already affected me and will stay with me forever. The world lost a truly remarkable man. RIP. Don Cashin.