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Q&A: How are author's widow and children?

Randy Pausch speaks at Carnegie Mellon University in September 2007. The computer science professor and author died in 2008.

Associated Press (2007)

Randy Pausch speaks at Carnegie Mellon University in September 2007. The computer science professor and author died in 2008.

Author's widow, kids doing well

I'm re-reading Randy Pausch's book The Last Lecture and wonder how his widow and family are doing since his death.

Randy Pausch was a professor of computer science and human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. In 2006, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and in August 2007 doctors gave him "three to six months of good health left."

In September 2007, he gave an inspirational lecture at his university called "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams." It was videotaped and became a YouTube sensation.

Pausch then collaborated with Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow on a book titled The Last Lecture, which was published in April 2008. It became a bestseller, and about 5 million books have been sold in the United States.

Pausch died July 25, 2008, at age 47, at home in Chesapeake, Va., where his family had moved so that his wife, Jai, could be closer to family. They had three children: sons Dylan, 6, and Logan, 4, and daughter Chloe, 2.

By all accounts, his family is doing well. Jai Pausch wrote a book about caring for her husband after the diagnosis, titled Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life After Loss, which she started a year after his death and published in 2012.

She described the difficulty in coping with his illness, the dark moments, anger at her husband and the guilt. But ultimately, she said, she embraced her husband's belief that there is magic that lives in us all.

"… When a dream shatters, pick up the pieces and get a new one," she wrote. "It won't be the same as the broken one. But one can hope it will be as vibrant and exciting. I've had to give myself permission to let go of the old dreams."

One of those dreams was new love. She met a retired naval officer online, and she said in an interview last May that they had recently married.

Dylan Pausch has followed his father in speaking out for increased pancreatic cancer funding .

"So many people are dying from pancreatic cancer, and the survival rates are so low," Dylan told ABC News in 2010. "If we keep studying, we might be able to change that."

Why past pope resigned in 1415

The last pope to resign before Pope Benedict did so about 600 years ago. What was the reason for that pope's resignation?

Pope Gregory XII resigned in 1415 to help end the Western Schism, which split the Catholic Church from 1378-1417. Gregory was among three men who claimed the papacy; the others were Avignon Pope Benedict XIII and Pisa Pope John XXIII. Each claimant had his "own following, his own Sacred College of Cardinals and his own administrative offices," according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

John XXIII was deposed and the claims of Benedict XIII were dismissed, leading to the election of Pope Martin V in 1417, which ended the schism.

Q&A: How are author's widow and children? 03/11/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 11, 2013 2:45pm]
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