NPR Host Gives Mom Sweet Sendoff, Thanks to Twitter
Scott Simon's tweets captured last days in ICU: Mary Elizabeth Williams
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2013 4:04 PM CDT
Scott Simon of NPR.   (Will O'Leary/NPR)

(Newser) – The mother of NPR's Scott Simon died yesterday, which his million-plus followers on Twitter already know because he took them through her final days in the ICU one tweet at a time, reports the LA Times. The tweets ranged from the mundane (watching baseball with his mom in the room, complaints about hospital food) to the poignant: "I am getting a life's lesson about grace from my mother in the ICU," he wrote on July 25. "We never stop learning from our mothers, do we?" And then, yesterday: "The heavens over Chicago have opened and Patricia Lyons Simon Newman has stepped onstage."

As a result, the host of Weekend Edition Saturday has taken his share of criticism from those who think some things aren't suited for Twitter. But most of the reaction is more along the lines of this from Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon: "As someone who’s tweeted about her own cancer diagnoses and surgeries, and about the gut-punching losses of way too many loved ones, I have nothing but awe for the way Simon has managed to encapsulate the experience of loss with such economy and eloquence," she writes. "He’s made an often-taboo topic accessible and open, by being willing to share it with such frankness." Click for her full post.

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ggreenwaldmd
Jul 31, 2013 8:52 AM CDT
Scott was going through a lot of pain; he was dealing with it the best way he could. I applaud Scott for allowing his Mom to try to have the best way to die--in the company of her beloved son. This is a guy that had his priorities right. When my Mom died a few years ago, my sibs and I did the same thing. Our Mom was never going to get out of the nursing home. She could not walk any more. We all talked about the fact that she knew she was there to die. She asked if I (an MD) could help her die. I told her there was nothing I could give her, but that if she stopped drinking and eating, she would die in a week or two with no pain. My Mom stopped eating and drinking for two or three days. Then she asked me, "So when am I going to die, Son...." I said it's a slower process, Mom, repeating that it would several weeks. So Mom said: OK then, Son....If I'm not going to die, then I'm going to eat. Please go to the deli and get me a corned beef on seedless rye. We consulted a rabbi a month or so before my beautiful Mom died: The rabbi told us, that in his experience, the dying would have the most peace with loved ones and music they loved. We gathered every single child, grandchild and great grandchil around Mom. It was great for her to see all those she loved. The rabbi also suggested that we not be there 24 hours a day, and that leaving the dying person's room for a few minutes or hours, he thought, could actually "allow" (his word) the dying to go peacefully without "hurting" those that were otherwise present. Mom died at about 3 in the morning in the moment that my sister took a bathroom break. We knew Mom was having a heart attack, but that emergency measures were not desired. I miss Mom every day of my life. So, nice going Scott. You are a good son, a mensch.
ronimaca
Jul 30, 2013 7:14 PM CDT
MAY YOUR MOTHER R.I.P. I AM SURE SHE LEFT THIS WORLD KNOWING HER SON LOVES HER AND WILL ALWAYS DO HER PROUD
JackNelsonSteward
Jul 30, 2013 6:01 PM CDT
It's amazing to hear people so victimized by this guy's sharing. I've known about "Off" buttons ... since they were knobs. If you don't like what someone's posting ... don't follow it!! ... all better now?