Last weekend, a very unusual, but quite moving phenomenon occurred. Scott Simon the host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday tweeted about the final days of his mother's life in ICU. He said he didn't start out expecting to do this, but he found her reactions and his own so moving that he wanted to share them. Simon commented that he did not tweet anything that he didn't think she would be totally comfortable with.
It is not new to write about death Simon pointed out in an interview, but it is new to use this very immediate form of communication. There is a different kind of power in his words and in the immediacy of his feelings. Simon's actions again raised the issue and started the discussion about what is helpful and what is acceptable to talk about in the face of grief.
So many of you have shared with us that one of the most difficult parts of the grief process is that nobody is comfortable with your pain. Many people have told us that even their closest friends do not really want to hear about their sadness and loneliness. Yet this is all the mourner really wants to talk about. Simon said that he did not share everything and that is appropriate, but he did model that it is acceptable to feel deep sorrow and to talk about deep sorrow. We thank him for this.
Simon's mother was not a young woman, but that did not matter. She was his mother, and he loved her dearly. The loss of a parent is painful no matter what our age or his or her age. Simon will mourn his mother even as he was able to appreciate her wisdom and her strength.
Simon's final tweet after his mother's death is quoted from Shakespeare. "She will make the face of heaven shine so fine that all the world will be in love with the night."
Scott Simon, thank you for helping so many of us talk about our own grief and giving voice to our own thoughts about those we have loved and had to let go into that night. We hope that our memories will help us see their lights.