Randy Pausch’s passing away and legacy

Many people wish to know inspiring Randy Pausch’s current medical condition. Alas he passed away last night at home in Virginia early on July 25, 2008 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 47.  Here are the 8 ways I see him influencing my life (his legacy).

I wrote about his amazing Carnegie Mellon University “Last Lecture” earlier (which has been viewed by more than 6,000,000 Americans. I also wrote how he has lived to fulfill his last unfulfilled dream of playing with a professional football team. [Randy was the head teaching assistant when I was a teaching assistant in an introductory computer class at Brown University some years back.]

He lived a bright life to the end, he went back in June to give a charge to the graduating seniors at his beloved Carnegie Mellon University. Randy who called himself an “accidental celebrity” and says there are not many of these for pancreatic cancer since people don’t survive long enough for there to be a Michael J. Fox, mustered the energy, in March, 2008, to testify powerfully and movingly before Congress on pancreatic cancer research.

Pausch noted that no progress has been made on pancreatic cancer research in the last 30 years and there is now a far better chance of living with AIDS than pancreatic cancer. Randy noted that pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths, a disease which strikes innocent victims: Randy exercised, ate right, didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, but still contracted this disease. Randy Pausch thinks we can protect ourselves from this disease but not without dramatically increased funding for research. The disease is genetic and he goes to sleep at night fearing whether kids (ages 2-9) have this genetic marker, although he hoped with dramatically increased funding for pancreatic cancer research that by the time any of his kids get this disease (which usually strikes later in life), doctors will know how to cure it through genetic treatment.

See notable quotes from Randy here and his life wisdom here.

Note: Randy’s book The Last Lecture (Hyperion Press) was released (April 8, 2008), co-written with WSJ reporter Jeff Zaslow. See Randy’s video about the book and preview of interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC News special about the book (airing April 10, 2008).

94 responses to “Randy Pausch’s passing away and legacy


    You said above that doctors have said that Randy has a 100% chance of dying? Isn’t that kind of like saying that there is a 100% chance that if you swim in a pool you will get wet? Unless you know something truly remarkable about mankind that I have yet to learn, I’m pretty sure that all of us have a 100% chance of dying. If nothing else gets us, that ubiquitous nemesis aging will.

    Let’s see, now his doctors are saying that there is 100% chance that he will die by the end of 2008. If you don’t mind, I’m going to go ahead and cast my vote that he will not be dead by the end of 2008. I have found that beating Randy Pausch in the “prediction game” is as simple as predicting the opposite of what he predicts.

    You say he “beat the 3-6 months his doctors gave him”. Are you sure those were his doctors exact words? Are you sure that those were not Randy’s words instead of his doctor’s words? I’m extremely confident that no licensed medical professional has ever told him “Mr. Pausch, your death in a few months is a certain event so please feel free to tell everyone on the planet that you will be gone by March 2008”. I’m confident that he wasn’t told that because that is NOT what competent medical professionals do.

    Great news: Randy Pausch is not dying today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. You will be happy to know that he has a lot of time left on earth to sell his apocryphal story.

    how did those words in his speech go? Oh, I remember “….admit when you have made a mistake and always tell the truth.”

    sounds good to me…. maybe Randy will actually follow those words one of these days.

  2. I’ve been following since Randy’s speech, and think he and his family are wonderful people to try and get the word about this terrible disease out. I have not seen an update since the 28th and as odd as it seems (although we all know how the story ends) – I keep hoping and praying for a miracle. I don’t know Randy or any of his family, but as with millions of others am inspired by their courage and endurance. I’m wondering if anyone has an update? And to Mr. or Ms. de Selby – you sound angry, and you should admit that you made a mistake when you wrote your letter above. He’s doing what he feels is best for himself and his family. Of course we all have a 100% certainty of dying… however, Randy and Jai have given the gift of “making people aware”. And in each of our own 100% certainty of dying – with any luck, it won’t be in such a slow and painful way.

  3. To the de Selby’s,
    Your response should be deleted.
    Cathy Jones

  4. It’s too bad that deSelby didn’t read Randy’s actual “quote” from his Dr. He said that the Dr. gave him 3-6 months of “healthy living.” If deSelby had cared to research Pancreatic Cancer, then the icy comments probably would not have been made. Pancreatic cancer is a vicious killer. It tends to strike the young and healthy, and in the end stages is an excruciating way to die.

    deSelby would be better off finding some other cause to attack other than a man who has 100% chance of dying before he feels he is done living.

    Thankfully, Randy seems to be well adjusted enough that such pissy comments won’t even touch him. An educated mind is not affected by the harsh words of a truly narrow mind.

  5. Suzanne Cummins

    Hello. Although I sent a message to Mr. Pausch through Carnegie Mellon, I thought it might be worth trying to reach him through this blog as well.

    T-Gen (the genome project group connected with University of Arizona’s Phoenix medical school campus) has a new protocol in treating advanced metastatic pancreatic cancer that has rendered remarkable results (even with tumor markers in the thousands). Early trials showed a 78% response rate. Even at Randy Pausch’s late stage, and even though the regimen is tough, results have been more than just notable.

    The protocol was publicly introduced at an oncology meeting in San Diego a couple of months ago (I am not a doctor, but I believe the protocol involves an existing chemo product with a unique delivery agent – but I may well have that wrong.) Anway, my contact at T-Gen is Dr. Mike Demeure (Mike is a pancreatic surgeon, but he works with the medical oncological team). I sent Dr. Demeure’s cell number to Randy via Carnegie Melon, but I do not know if he got it.

    I will only be sporadically checking emails while travelling over the next month but will be back to work by the end of June. If Mr. Pausch’s oncologist would like to speak with the folks at T-Gen, I am certain this would be easy to arrange.

    I just did not want to leave this stone un-turned in case this website is monitored by someone in touch with Mr. Pausch. Despite their efforts, even top oncologists do not track every new protocol, and this one – though startling – is quite embryonic.

    DH, (or should I call you “Genius”)
    My comment about about 3-6 months was in response to the owner of this blogs statement about “beating 3-6 months…”. That said, Randy himself said over and over “I will be gone in a few months”. And, as far as me “researching ductal adenocarcinoma”, I would bet everything I own that I know infinitely more about the disease today than you ever will. The fact that you said “it tends to strike the young and healthy” proves that you don’t have the slightest clue as to what you are talking about. It CAN strike the young and healthy but statistically speaking those numbers are small; the people that it “tends” to strike are older. For your information it is because of my knowledge of both the illness and the profession that I KNOW Randy Pausch is not dying. I promise you he will not be dead 10 years from today.

    My comment probably won’t even posted. Apparently this blog owner only wants positive statements to be posted about Randy’s story. If it were posted I would say to you that I don’t have to look for another cause to attack; attacking fraud works for me.

  7. I think perhaps deSelby is missing the big picture. One of the most inspirational aspects of Dr. Pausch’s speeches is that he didn’t decide to START living when he found out he was dying. He has been living all along. His message to us is, so should we, for “…the reaper will come for us all”. I HOPE (as I am infinitely certian the Pausch Family is as well), that Dr. Pausch IS alive 10 years from today! That doesn’t change his message and the inspriation it has given me and many others. And unless deSelby is the Reaper himself, I do not know how he can speak with such authority on how much time ANYONE has left on this earth.

  8. I am amazed that everyone seems to accept that Randy cannot be healed.If the majority of people believe in God,why aren’t they praying for a miracle??

  9. To continue with DeSelby’s post, pancreatic cancer is actually quite rare. Striking on average about 34,000 Americans yearly makes this cancer uncommon. Consider that 190,000 men are diagnosed yearly with prostate cancer, a man is much more likely to get prostate cancer than Pancreatic cancer. Further, about 187,000 new lung cancer cases are reported yearly in the U.S. Lung cancer has about as bad a prognosis as pancreatic cancer (170,000 deaths), and it is also much more common. As we can see, pancreatic cancer is, by comparison, rare.

    Also, the vast majority of cases occur over the age of 60. It is rare before age 55, and extremely rare under 45. There have been cases of pancreatic cancer occurring with people in their 20’s and 30’s, but this is unprecedented and accounts for probably less than 10 cases per year. These people certainly have a very high family history of it, and are more likely to survive than older people because of their young age.

    That pancreatic cancer is primarily a cancer of old age is probably the main reason there is a lack of funding for it. This however, is no excuse.

  10. To de Selby,

    Why are you so antagonistic toward Randy Pausch? Your comments are so cynical and unsubstantiated. Where is your evidence of knowledge regarding this disease that could just as easily have attacked you. If it had, I wonder if your attitude might be different.

  11. To follow up, de Selby says, “I’m extremely confident that no licensed medical professional has ever told him, ‘Mr. Pausch, your death in a few months is a certain event so please feel free to tell everyone on the planet that you will be gone by March 2008.’ I’m confident that he wasn’t told that because that is NOT what competent medical professionals do.”
    Randy Pausch has not claimed that the doctors used the language de Selby is quoting. Instead, Prof. Pausch says he was told he had a few months to live. Very competent doctors convey that type of information to patients everyday.
    Sometimes these predictions are extremely accurate; but because doctors are not omniscient, their predictions are just that: predictions.
    Regardless, a man’s life is in jeopardy. This man cares for his family and has had a tremendous impact on others, both before and after his diagnosis. If only each of us could have such impact!

  12. How is Randy doing now? I think of him, and his family quite often. I admire the ability of Randy and his wife to keep things real, and focus on the positive. I truly hope for a miracle!

  13. I’m hoping for an update since June 26 on Randy’s update page. Let’s hope he finds another reason for hope somewhere in the world of our modern medicine. He sure does seem like a great presence and force for positive thinking!

  14. De Selby

    You are obviously a very unhappy person. My sympathies to you. I hope that if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, people have more compassion for you than you’ve shown. Shame on you.

  15. Tresstine Paulsen

    16 July 2008

    I am praying for Randy Pausch, his wife and
    children. The last update that I read was on
    26 June…and like so many others I am anxious
    to know how he and his brave family are doing.

    I respect and admire Randy for the humanity
    and generosity and abiding love that he inhabits.
    And to honor his value and values, I sent a copy
    of “The Last Lecture” to my son Andrew this
    past Father’s Day. I hope my son will be inspired by Randy’s spontaneous yet thoughtful
    enjoyment of life. I know that my grandsons,
    Axel and Skyler will be the beneficiaries of Randy’s book.

    Love to all. Tresstine Paulsen

  16. I too am praying for Randy Pausch. I pray to God for Randy and his family as they go through this very difficult time. I think of him everyday. He has truly impacted my life and I feel blessed to have found him. His children will always have him in their lives. He is a part of them and I am positive he has already instilled many powerful qualities in them even at the young age they are. I am also quite sure his wife will see to it that the children will never forget their father. I just lost my father and he will always be with me.
    I send all my respect, love and prayers to the entire Pausch family.

  17. If anyone know of any current updates on Randy, please let us know

  18. Randy has become part of my daily life. I am very worried about him since no post. I have looked for updates and can’t find any since end of June.

    DeSelby, I can’t beleive that you would be so nasty about a man that is about to leave his children. I don’t think many would make this up. I hope you never have to be faced with something so hard.

    Randy, if you read this, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I feel you are much apart of my family now.

  19. First off, I just need to put it out there that Randy’s words, lectures, and recently published book have put a whole new meaning to life for me. While I have tried in recent years to let my past go and start to look at things from a positive perspective, Randy’s words have not only encouraged me, but forced me to take that positive approach, ALWAYS. Randy and Jai are simply amazing in the way they have decided to live their lives for the moment with no regrets. It has been a journey that I am drawn to and can’t seem to shake from my mind – and I wish them all nothing but the very best. The world can take so much from his words, and God knows, we would all be much better people if we lived our lives as they are living their’s.

    Randy – your most moving phrase in the book for me was when you told your daughter that you were the first man to ever fall in love with her. I still cry at the thought of that comment because I didn’t have that kind of father, and you should have all the time in the world to continue to love her and be there for her, and I am so sorry that you won’t have that when there are fathers out there who are horrible people and don’t realize what they have.

    To de Shelby,

    I cannot believe that you would have the gall to write such filth about someone who is suffering more than most people will ever face. I am not surprised that there are poeple like you in the world, but I hope for your sake, that you develop some compassion and respect for people as you will meet your maker one day and reap all of the sorrow that you put onto others, and that is something you will not be able to escape. While good and honest people who have so much to offer to the world are suffering like the Pausch family, there are people like you writing filth, and living it large – there is hardly justice in this world. Shame on you… I feel for your family who must be so ashamed of you and your behavior.

  20. I think Randy would respond to de Shelby’s comments just as he said he would in his lecture and book…’people will show their good side,just give them time’.

  21. Randy if you are reading this I am praying for you and your family and constantly checking for updates. ((HUGZ))~Pam

  22. I, like everyone else, am wondering what’s going on. This is the longest period of time he has gone without an update…and he wasn’t feeling to great on the 26th…although he sure was upbeat.
    I hope we hear good news soon!! de Shelby sounds bitter..she was hurt by the death of someone close and has not come to terms with it..She needs someone to care about her…

  23. I hope you are doing well Randy! We are praying that you beat the odds. You are a great man!

  24. Someone pls tell me how is Randy doing? He hasn’t updated his page for almost a month now!I hope all is well at his end!

  25. I also check Randy’s update page each day and am worried that there have been no posts since June 26. I pray that he is not suffering. I was hopeful when I read that some different therapies may be tried. God Bless you Randy! God Bless your family.


  26. I, too, check Randy’s blog every couple of days and am concerned for him and his family. I pray for him and wish him as little suffering as possible. He is an inspiration and will continue to be long after he is gone from this earth. May his children know what a good good man he is. As for de shelby, pray for him/her as well. For whatever reason, s/he is bitter and abrasive and needs some perspective on life and what is important in it.
    Love your families today and every day.

  27. I too hope and pray that Randy finds a miracle, I know first hand that Pancreatic Cancer is the most deadly cancer, my husband was diagnosed on November 30th and died on January 10th. The Doctors never said you will die in 6 weeks but not one had a treatment that they knew would save his life. I thank God for men like my husband and Randy who face their mortality head on and force all of us to take another look at how we live our lives.

  28. This was just posted on Randy Pausch’s website.

    July 24th, 2008: The cancer is progressing

    A biopsy last week revealed that the cancer has progressed further than we had thought from recent PET scans. 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 what many folks are watching this space for updates.

    I think many of us suspected what his long silence meant. I hope his wife Jai and his children have many loved ones surrounding them as they say their good-byes to their husband and father. That is such a difficult task, but Randy had given them a good model to follow. I hope they are able to make the most of the time they have with him. I so regret that his children are losing their time with him.

    All blessings to them all.

  29. DeSELBY
    when Randy does die, which unfortunately
    will probably be sooner than later, what will you possibly say then; that he really is alive?!
    Why the bitterness; we have here a beautiful, caring, loving family, who have given the world
    lessons on prioritizing in life that which is important; multitudes of people have written on various blogs how his lecture changed their outlooks on life…baseless hatred is a terrible thing.

  30. Randy Pausch, October 23, 1960-July 25, 2008

  31. According to usa.com Randy did in fact die this morning.

  32. Just saw the news today on CNN about Randy :/
    He touched alot of people with his words and inspiration. He will be missed but never forgotten. The world has gotten a bit dimmer today….

  33. De Selby…I can only say to you that I wish you were right. Especially for this children’s sake. But alas you were wrong….

    God bless Randy’s family and THANK YOU RANDY!

  34. It’s just so sad. Somehow I thought Randy Pauch would be the exception. That man made me try to be a better person. His poor family. Randy Pauch was a beautiful human being.

  35. i am deeply saddened….you have changed my life forever

  36. I’m so sorry to learn about the sad news. What a great soul the world has lost. My thoughts are with his wife and three young children. May God bless you as you watch over your children from heaven.

  37. Heaven now has Earth’s most inspiring angel…thank you Randy for changing my life and countless others. God bless.

  38. So sad. What a great inspiring man who didn’t even try. His last wishes were only for his family. I hope that one day we can all be so positive. I can’t watch his lecture without crying.

  39. …RIP Randy!!!!!! Too good for this world!

  40. Does DeSelby wish to make a comment today?

  41. What an inspiration! His children will one day say how proud they are of their father. He has gotten a lot of people to think about life and the importance of living to the fullest. Maybe some people can learn from him.

  42. RPausch Admirer

    Can someone please post the link to Mr. Pausch’s blog? I have lost all the bookmarks on my favorites list.

    RIP Randy; you have been and will continue to be an inspiration to millions. My deepest sympathies to the Pausch family & their friends.

  43. Randy, I am the father of three children the same ages as yours. I want to thank you for helping me to realize what is really important in life. Your story has inspired me to live every day of my life to the fullest. I pray that God watches over and takes care of your wife and beautiful children. RIP

  44. Any heartfelt apologies from De Shelby???…

    My sincere condolences to the Pausch family. The world has lost someone very special today and I am deeply saddened.

  45. I second everything everyone has said (with the exception of DeSelby).

    Randy was just awesome and I am very sad he’s gone….

  46. …I am deeply saddened at the loss of Randy. He is an inspiration to all of us, and to all of us who are dealing with cancer, either directly or thru family and friends.

    My sincere condolences to the Pausch Family. May Randy be the guiding angel for your family.

  47. Randy’s blog has been taken down. I had it bookmarked and now it can’t be opened. My condolences to his family.

  48. I have been a wreck all day since hearing the news of Randy’s passing. My best friend, love, and solumate Carl Baertein died Aug 2004 from Pancreatic Cancer. He was only 34. I know too well how the end comes and I pray and pray for his wife, children, and family.
    It is tragic that these beautiful people are taken from us, but I am grateful for their gifts and the time they were here.
    I offer my deepest condolences to his family, and I wish you peace and healing.

  49. Another tragic loss. A good man….an inspiration to many despite his poor prognosis. His legacy will live on because people like Randy don’t truly die. He touched so may lives whilst alive and via them he will now go on.
    May you RIP Dr. Randy Pausch. Thank you for your time here on earth and for the wonderful words you have left us with. Your pain is now gone. Our prayers for your wife and children. God Bless.

  50. deSelby, today is July 25, 2008 and he didn’t made it till the end of 2008. Guess god takes good souls back quickly – Randy taught the greatest lessons of life in less than a life time – but for some, they r yet to learn their basics…. no matter if they live a 100 years.
    I’m sure god will send him back in another name/form to teach us more…

    with prayers

  51. RIP Randy!…

  52. …To those of us whom Randy has touched, this is a heartbreaking day. May Randy’s wife and children take comfort in his beautiful memories, incredible legacy, and his great love for them ,which will never die. And may they know how many people their dear husband and father has touched with his goodness and joy, his love of life and fun, his incredible heart and spirit, and most importantly, his lessons to us all about what matters most in the time we are given here. Godspeed, Randy…and may you rest in peace.

  53. Harriet Hendel

    Randy has left us all a great and lasting legacy: to live each day as if it were our last day here; to appreciate everything and everyone around us and to tell those we love that we do indeed appreciate them; to reach out to anyone we can because it costs so little;to make our corner of the world a little better place than we found it. My heart goes out to Randy’s sweet family at this very sad and tragic time in their lives.

  54. The world truly lost an inspiration and a beautiful soul today. Randy Pausch has changed my life. My heart breaks for his family, but his suffering is over. Thank you Randy for being such an inspiration. We will miss you.

  55. After watching the ABC interview with Randy several months ago, I became hooked on his day to day postings. I have purchased and loved listening over and over to his book on CD, The Last Lecture. I checked every day for his latest posting and health updates, but as each day passed after June 26th, I became more and more concerned, even checking two or three times a day in the last couple of weeks for that comforting new message, and hoping against any hope that he would somehow beat this disease. All of this feeling for a man and his beloved family that I have never even met or heard of until the interview. How great a man he was to accomplish this with me and I know thousands of others. I will miss you, Randy, and the lovely pictures of your strong family. I will share my CD’s with everyone who wants to listen to them! Rest easy, Randy, and know how many stranger’s lives you touched.

  56. How sad the loss…How wonderful the gifts he left behind…In death he continues to live through his inspirations…God be with his wife and kids as they struggle to make sense of their lives without him

  57. My heart feels heavy for the Pausch family. He left behind a powerful legacy to them and to the world. Let us all live our lives as though each day may be our last.

  58. Randy’s web site listed above does still exist. There is a posting made the day of his passing.

  59. My prayers are for Jai, Dylan, Logan and Chloe.
    Randy did everything he could to prepare his family for a life without him.
    Rest in peace Randy

  60. I had the honor of working with Randy to introduce Alice on several college campuses in the midwest. I knew when I met him that he was a special man with a gift for teaching and inspiring others. Everything that anyone has heard about this man is true. I was inspired by his endless energy and positive outlook on life and his ability to enjoy each day and that was long before his illness. I am a two time cancer survivor and through the grace of God and an awesome medical team, I hope to live for many more years. However, when my time comes, I pray that I will be able to face the inevitible with half of the grace, courage and positive energy that Randy had. He is a true inspiration and his life has been a gift to us all. God bless the Pausch family.

  61. I would like to post an apology to this blog.
    When I heard on the news yesterday that Professor Pausch died I was not just shocked; I was floored. Before hearing that he had passed away my brain simply could not believe that he was actually dying. So many people told me that he was dying and that his story was true but I just could not believe it. Most of my life cancer has been in my family. None of my family members with a terminal diagnosis looked like Professor Pausch did when he gave his last lecture. Because of the way he looked, and the book deal that followed his speech, I felt certain that his story was another example of someone exploiting something for money. Because of the pain that cancer has caused in my family it disturbed me to think that his story was not real and that he got a book deal out of it. And if any other blogger disagreed with my comments, I would say that they were stupid for not being able to see what I thought I could see. I now realize that I am the most cynical, bitter, and stupid person that I know. Professor Randy Pausch was a far better man and a better human being than I will ever be.
    I deserve any of things that people may now decide to post about me. I will not object to any of it because I assure you that right now I’m saying a lot of those same things to myself. In my stupid mind I was 100% certain that Professor Pausch would not die for many years. That shows how stupid I am. I am a very stupid person. The news of his death yesterday has me literally feeling physically ill. Before his death I felt so certain that I was right about the things I previously wrote but I now know that everything I have written about Professor Pausch was wrong and I am sorry for writing those things.

  62. My heart is breaking. God wanted him but we needed him a while longer. We are all blessed forhaving him as long as we did. I’ve read his book and am passing it around to all my friends. Oh, how I wish I had read it before raising my children.
    May God bless his family.

  63. Apology accepted, De Selby.

  64. I am glad to see your apology. Forgiveness begins within, so ask the Lord for forgiveness, and then forgive yourself.

    To Randy’s Family:

    Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3, 5-6

    You’re in my prayers.

  65. de Selby,
    I believe that most people will forgive and admire you for your ability to publicly admit that you were wrong. I pray that God will grant you the grace to deal with the issues from your past and that you can take Randy’s advice as a roadmap for living the rest of your life. My prayers are with you.

  66. If we have learned anything from this gentle soul it is to forgive and to live our lives among those people no matter what they’ve said or done with compassion and understanding. This is Dr. Pausch’s legacy.
    Rest in peace.

  67. de shelby I accept your apology and Randy would as well.

  68. The light that burns the brightest burns the shortest. Very sad news.

  69. Dear de Selby,

    Your apology shows that you are more human than you think. I really didn’t expect to see it. Please know that you are not just a “cynical, bitter and stupid person.” Randy Pausch said you would always see a person’s good side, eventually. God bless you and God bless Randy, Jai, Dylan, Logan and Chloe.

  70. Re: de Selby
    As Randy said, “….admit when you have made a mistake and always tell the truth.” And so you have.

    Randy also said “If we wait long enough, people will show their good side”. You have done this as well; I’m glad we didn’t have to wait too long. Now if you can only let go of your pain…

    Randy, thank you for your inspiration and enlightenment. Rest well.

  71. De Selby,

    I have followed Randy’s day to day updates since seeing him on Oprah. The biggest thing that I learned from him was to live life to the fullest, try as hard as you can to achieve your dreams and love your family. He left a legacy that many of us will never forget. I have to say I was shocked and angered by your bitter, harsh words. I am so happy that you had the courage to admit in this forum that you were wrong. I would encourage you to watch his “Last Lecture”. The best way for you to honor his memory is to watch it and try to apply some of the good in his life to your own. I understand bitterness and losing faith in the human race- it’s pretty easy these days. Just watch his lecture and try to live your life by the same principles he lived his.

  72. Hi de Selby,

    My name is Raymond G., and you may remember me from some of the spirited arguments we had on another blog about Randy Pausch.

    I go for walks on weekend mornings, and I found myself thinking about you during today’s. I was recounting in my mind many of the things you had said there and here, and elsewhere, and wondered if we would ever hear from you again. Frankly I didn’t expect to. But you proved me wrong, my friend. When I got home this evening I googled your name and Pausch’s together, and found you here.

    De Selby, I hope these words find you. Because I would like you to know that I for one fully appreciate your apology, and understand your explanation. But I want to say something more than that. I want to say that if I could meet you face to face, right here, right now, I would give you a hug, and tell you everything’s okay.

    A guy like you doesn’t write the words he did unless it comes from deep emotion, and from the pain of past losses, losses of loved ones who have been claimed by this terrible disease that has cut short the lives and dreams of so many. You say you are cynical. Maybe you are. You say you are bitter. Who among us, in your shoes, would not be? You say you are stupid. I don’t believe that for a second. However, what you are above and beyond any of those things, is human. And more than that, you are a human with courage, fortitude and a deep, deep heart. This apology you posted says volumes more about the kind of man you are than anything you have written before it. You need say nothing more.

    Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not an example of what many of us should aspire to be; passionate, caring, full of love, and willing to admit a mistake in the most public of ways. When I look to the words of Randy Pausch for inspiration, alongside them I will look to yours, and be inspired by them as well.

    Godspeed, my friend.

  73. I am sad to hear of Randy’s passing. I just finished reading his book about a month ago and gave it to my mother to read. My mom lost her twin sister and her older sister to pancreatic cancer. My aunts died only a year and a half apart from eachother. This is an ugly ugly disease. Randy Pausch was an amazing person and I am glad his journey brought awareness to pancreatic cancer, but more importantly to how we all should be living life. What a great teacher. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.
    To deSelby: glad you could finally see the light.

  74. To deSelby,
    Thank you for your heartfelt apology…it meant alot to me, because as you can see from my previous blog on the day Randy died, I was very angry with you for your comments. And I hated that my deep sadness over Randy’s death was tainted by my very negative feelings toward another human being. As I said, I knew I was not being as charitable as Randy would have advised me to be. After submitting my blog, I, too, was feeling guilty about directing my bitterness toward you when I should have just let it go, and concentrated on remembering Randy and his important life lessons. So now, with your apology, I am feeling better despite my sadness, because you have singlehandedly proven Randy’s words…there is good in everyone. You should also be proud of yourself for having wasted no time in posting your deep regret for your words. As others have said, it is now time for you to forgive yourself, because there is no question that Randy would have forgiven you…what could matter more than that? Don’t beat yourself up anymore…after all, your harsh comments came from your own terrible experiences with cancer and grief. And so again, thank you for so humbly putting yourself out there, and offering your very sincere apology. You’ve done the honorable thing, and by so doing, you have honored Randy and his legacy.

  75. DeSelby – I’m shocked at your response…pleasantly of course. Good for you.

  76. The Rev'd Dr. Suzi Robertson

    I am deeply saddened by the death of Dr. Pausch, but rejoice in the message he left for those who remain. I have been following him since I first heard his lecture via the internet.

  77. Attention please, de Selby

    I know intergrity when I see it. I knew it the minute I saw Randy on a television news show, perhaps it was Dateline or 20-20, that he had real integrity. Never did I doubt his story. I knew he was genuine. Based on the ap0logy you posted yesterday, I see integrity in you as well. I believe you have a lot more in common with Mr. Pausch than you ever imagined. Death is a horrible part of life, but it is also a great teacher. It is an authentic way for us to reinvest in our own lives, 0nce we reflect on those who have gone before us. Because of Randy’s public passing, he taught us all about how to live life to its fullest. Life is all about living and learning. I have learned from him, and from you.

  78. I’m overwhelmed by the love and support here. DeSelby, I hope you’re doing well. Your initial comments were hurtful, but you have more than made up for that with your apology. The transformation you’ve undergone is a honor to behold.

    Raymond G., I don’t know if you believe in channeling, but it certainly seems to me that Randy Pausch himself could have written your post. It was beautiful and touching and I thank you for gracing us with your lovely words.

  79. For a unique comment on Randy’s Pausch’s stupendous book, THE LAST LECTURE, visit
    my blog (www.JosephineCarrWrites.blogspot.com)

  80. Hi deSelby,

    Hope you are finding inner peace now, and would find meaning in Dr. Pausch’s lectures. When we are disturbed inside, we tend to reject and fight back at the hard realities of life. Sorry to hear that you went through tough turmoil due to cancer in your family. I would say the best thing to do is learn to forgive ourselves… it will help a a lot. As Dr Pausch said, “people will show their good side, give them time…” you have shown yours… so feel good, be good, I hope your heart feels much lighter and relieved….


    take care,

  81. Diane Sawyer will host a tribute to Randy Tuesday at 10 on ABC.

  82. The world is a much richer place because of Randy Pausch. He has moved and inspired me beyond what any words could possibly convey. Dr. Pausch has given me the inspiration and a renewed passion to go into my classroom to inspire my students and to enpower their dreams with all the possiblilities of their tomarrows. I intend to make “The Last Lecture” part of my lesson plan.

  83. My dad also died of pancreatic cancer. So when I first saw Randy on Oprah last year I was so moved by him. His words from his last lecture and his optimism have stayed with me. I was so sad when I heard he passed. I posted a blog about it last Friday:

  84. The world is a better place for having had Randy Pausch for the time we did. I pray his family can find peace. TTFN Randy!

  85. I’m deeply saddened by the death of Randy, his memory will remain in our hearts forever; I’m planting a tree in his honor. https://www.treesinstead.com/

  86. Graham Maddox

    I am a 33 year old deadbeat who has also been inspired by Randy. He is truly a blessing for all that knew him. I wish I could have met him just once !

  87. Good bye Randy and thank you. You can now be an angel from above as you surely were one here. Your family is blessed to have had you in their lives and I send them all the good thoughts I can muster. We were all blessed to have had you on this earth!

  88. I will never forget you. Thanks for your lesson of life. Rest in peace Randy.

    My prayers for your children and wife

  89. I saved Randy’s Oprah appearance and I watched it over and over as my own fathers mind dwindled away from cancer. He also stole a few more months than the doctors gave him. He did not use them as well as Randy but he did get to hold his last grandchild and watch my daughter make her first communion. I live my life more in the presant now. I do what I can for my friends and my family I try to find joy in the small moments with my children. That is how I honor your memory Randy. May god bless you and your family in the years ahead. My prayers will be with them.

  90. It is hard to believe that it is now almost a year since Randy’s last post on his web page. I pray for his wife and children as they are soon approaching one year since their tremendous loss.

  91. Donna

    it may be almost a year since the last post, but I’m sure Randy’s legacy will go on and on and on and…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  92. Padraig Mulcahy

    Just incase his kids or wife every check this, all i want to say is that you where blessed with greatness. Only once in a generation does a man come around with such grace, humility and intelligence. . . . .

    I know the pain does not subsibe but hopefully the memory is greater!

  93. I recently read his autobiographical account, it was moving!

    I had seen his videos of the lecture on youtube previously.. and was intrigued to find this book and couldnt help but ended up reading from cover to cover in one sitting.

    such a motivational speaker!
    May his soul rest in peace!

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