Scott Simon, the host of NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday," decided to use Twitter in a way it's perhaps never been used before- he live tweeted his mother's final days in the hospital as he stayed by her bed. The chronicle of her last hours alive, complete with heartfelt laughter, jokes, tears and finally death, have moved many users to share in his experience.
Scott Simon's mother, Patricia Lyons Simon Newman Gilband, was taken for emergency surgery, and Simon was informed July 16. From there, his tweets about his mother's stay in the hospital attracted immediate attention, with many of his 1.2 million Twitter followers driving the story and tweets to go viral.
"Mother called: 'I can't talk. I'm surrounded by handsome men.' Emergency surgery. If you can hold a thought for her now…" he first wrote of the situation. After a short period of recovery, her illness became more pronounced, and Simon wrote about the time he spent at his ailing mother's side.
"My mother in ICU sees Kate & Will holding baby and tears: 'Every baby boy is a little king to his parents.' So I tear too," he wrote.
"I am getting a life's lesson about grace from my mother in the ICU. We never stop learning from our mothers, do we?" he said July 25. "My mother knows the name & story of every nurse & doctor in the ICU. She keeps no one a stranger."
Simon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, also made sure to include his mother's humor.
"I consider this a good sign: mother sez when time comes, obit headline should be Three Jewish Husbands, But No Guilt," he tweeted.
"I tell my mother, 'You'll never stop teaching me.' She said, 'Well don't blame me for everything.'" Simon posted.
Near the end, Simon exposed his raw emotions, even when especially difficult.
"I love holding my mother's hand. Haven't held it like this since I was 9. Why did I stop? I thought it unmanly? What crap."
"Mother cries Help Me at 2;30. Been holding her like a baby since. She's asleep now. All I can do is hold on to her."
"Heart rate dropping. Heart dropping."
"The heavens over Chicago have opened and Patricia Lyons Simon Newman has stepped onstage," he shared, letting the world know she had passed.
Condolences came from much of the Twittersphere, and many pointed out Simon's bravery in exposing his grief- something many continue to keep private.
"The last few days of tweets from @nprscottsimon are heartbreaking, uplifting, human. Twitter has never been better. Please read," posted Tim Siedell. Simon's name began trending on Twitter upon his mother's death, and many more learned of what he did.
"@nprscottsimon Your courage to share these intimate moments inspires and moves me immensely. Thanks for the true love you've now shared w us," Kirstin Franko tweeted.
"Thank you for all yr warm wishes and prayers. Such love drives the world," Simon responded.