Nightly News   |  July 30, 2013

A son’s love for his mother, shared on Twitter

As his mother lay dying of cancer, NPR radio host Scott Simon shared intimate memories and reflections in a very public way by tweeting to his followers. NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, all of us who have lost family members have found our own way to deal with the loss and celebrate the life just departed. for most people, care giving during death is an intensely private time. which is why so many people took notice when a well known radio host decided to chronicle his mother 's passing on social media . it wasn't for everyone. it was quite powerful for some. and nbc's kevin tibbles has the story.

>> reporter: for millions of listeners, scott simon is the saturday morning voice of national public radio . in recent days he's been at his mother 's bedside at chicago's northwest memorial hospital .

>> looking -- i don't want to say death in the eye, but life in the face.

>> reporter: with her permission, he took to social media , tweeting updates to his 1.2 million followers.

>> i love holding my mother 's hand. i haven't held it like this since i was nine. why did i stop? i thought it unmanly? what crap.

>> reporter: simon 's mother patricia lost her battle with cancer overnight. he previously interviewed her for the np r series story corps .

>> my name is pat lyons, simon , newman, gelman.

>> way to go.

>> what a monogram that is.

>> reporter: in her day, she was an unconventional mother , a model and a showgirl who appeared at chalk's chez paree nightclub. thrice married, once to scott's father.

>> if you say anything remotely funny, most people say, that's your dad talking. actually, it was my mother .

>> reporter: simon remembers a woman who never forgot a name and always sent a thank you note. reaction to his tweets have been overwhelming and mixed. is it weird to tweet from your mother 's deathbed? no, it's real and moving and lovely. thank you npr scott simon for sharing your love. some things are best left untweeted. i love scott seemen, but i disagree with him tweeting during his mother 's death.

>> perhaps your mother 's teaching us we shouldn't be afraid of it.

>> somewhere in everything my mother 's said, there's a message. i'm getting a life's lesson about grace from my mother in icu. we never stop learning from our mother 's, do we?

>> a lifetime of memories and a painful process shared in such a public and poetic way. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago.