Scott Simon shared a private moment with a public audience, 1.2 million followers to be exact.
The National Public Radio’s Saturday morning radio host began tweeting last month about his mother’s final days in the Intensive Care Unit at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she was being treated for cancer. Simon’s mother, Patricia Lyons Simon Newman, lost her battle with the disease on July 29 at the age of 84.
“It was never on my mind that I was sharing the end of a life per say. It was always on my mind that I was sharing an interesting and engaging life that I hope one way or another goes on,” Simon said Wednesday on Morning Joe.
With her permission, Simon chronicled his mother’s passing. He shared her health condition, his thoughts about the nurses’ care at the ICU, and life lessons she continued to teach him. She told him: “People should spend more time talking to people in their 80s because they’ve looked right across the street at death for more than a decade, and they know what’s really important in life.”
“I just found what she was saying so interesting, so reflective,” he said on the show.
Simon said he hasn’t yet reacted to the negative comments some of his followers have tweeted in response to his thoughts. Rather, he is concentrating on his mother’s final insights to life and spending time with his family for now.
“I know that life can be short, nasty, and brutish, and I’m going to emphasize the short,” he said. “But the fact is it just goes too quickly.”
Simon’s last tweet before his mother’s death:
Heart rate dropping. Heart dropping.
— Scott Simon (@nprscottsimon) July 29, 2013
Simon continued to reflect on his mother’s death, days later on Aug. 4:
Our children want to know if you’re dead forever. I tell them yes. But I wonder about that too.
— Scott Simon (@nprscottsimon) August 4, 2013