I received a PhD in mathematics last May. Last December, my advisor passed away quite unexpectedly.
My advisor was an extraordinary person; in addition to being a fantastic advisor mathematically, he was a wonderful mentor who I always thought of as a friend – this is very much a personal loss for me. My initial emotional response was that I should clearly leave mathematics forever. Rationally, that seems uncalled for. Before all of this, I had been aiming for academic jobs in mathematics. However, I expect that a recommendation (as well as other help) from one's advisor is a significant part of an academic job application (for example, this recent answer states that the letter from one's advisor is read first even when applying for a tenure-track job after a postdoc).
How does one go about an academic job search when one's advisor has passed away?
For example, my advisor wrote a letter for me for my job search out of grad school. Does one try to use that letter (via perhaps my graduate department) for subsequent job applications? Do I mention in every cover letter from now on end that my advisor has died (that seems horrifying, since I like my vague sense of denial)?
I am in the first year of a (3-year) postdoc, so I won't be on the job market for a while (in fact, it seems simultaneously very soon and too far away). Of course I can tell that my productivity and motivation have slumped in the last few months, and I know that I should try to get back into gear as soon as possible.
PS: It’s entirely possibly that there’s no ‘practical’ difference between this situation and other situations where one doesn't have a letter from an advisor (as commentor Sumyrda has said), in which case that would be a perfectly reasonable answer that I would happily accept.
While in more of a 'denial' stage, I asked this question to try to get at this.