In July of 2013, NPR Weekend Edition host Scott Simon began tweeting from the ICU of a Chicago hospital. For the next week, as he watched his mother’s condition worsen until her eventual passing, he shared everything from interactions with ICU nurses to his mother’s wisecracks and life lessons with his thousands of Twitter followers. Simon’s tweets quickly went viral, spreading across the Web to reach millions and millions of people in countries across the globe. The episode sparked debate on a topic that few had previously considered: what is the place of social media in the processes of dying, death, and bereavement?

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