Dr. Jay Einhorn was a lifelong seeker. He studied the world, people and himself layer by layer, always searching for deeper understanding and connection.
Jay believed we each possess many selves, and here are a few of his: a dedicated psychologist who found great meaning in his work with clients, colleagues and students; an irreverent singer/songwriter influenced by jazz, folk, blues and classical Spanish guitar; an eager volunteer who spoke with young parents about the importance of reading stories to their children. Stories, he believed, could unlock the world.
He was a friend who challenged and cared, a husband who sang of his open heart and a father who taught his children that no question, no matter how fraught, was off limits.
Jay was more interested in why we watch sports than who won the match, more curious about why music moves us than who achieved commercial success and more fascinated by why we love learning (and what learning really means, anyway) than who had the degree.
His constant search for meaning and connection had its quirks; if you greeted him with a casual “How are you?,” you’d better be ready for a 10-minute answer.
But he was not only cerebral. Jay’s adoration of life’s sensory pleasures, like exercise and food, was epic. Over the years, he enjoyed tai chi, hundred-mile bike rides, roller blading, cross-country skiing and long walks. He sniffed out the best restaurants, quite literally—he loved strolling in a new city or neighborhood and deciding where to eat by the smell outside. He delighted in finding the most interesting hand-roasted coffee beans, specialty teas, dark chocolate and aged cheese. When eating something especially delicious, like a favorite gelato, he would close his eyes to savor it for longer than was socially acceptable. If his children laughed at him, he would explain that it intensified the experience. He was right. You should try it.
“Everything in moderation” was a guiding principle for Jay. So was embracing complexity, nuance and intuition. He was glad to discover his flaws and work on them, to the very end.
The writings of the thinker Idries Shah changed his life, and he would not miss this opportunity to suggest that you pick up some of his books.
After a yearlong fight with stomach cancer, Jay died peacefully at his home in Evanston, surrounded by his wife, Cynthia, and children Catrin, Elia, Aaron and Emily, on January 16, a few months short of his 70th birthday. Because he chafed against simplification, he would undoubtedly take issue with aspects of this obituary and respond, kindly but firmly and point by point. Sadly, he cannot. So we will end it his way, at least the way he spent the very end of his life: blowing kisses to loved ones and putting his hand over his heart.
Plans for a memorial will be forthcoming; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.