The article “Death in the Time of Twitter, Or, How we Grieve Now” moved me and caused me to reflect on my own mother's passing. For several months, my mom's health had been in slow decline, on its way to an inevitable conclusion. I shuttled back and forth to the tiny Ohio town where I grew up to be by her side as much as possible. She didn't always recognize the friends and family members who came to visit, but she always knew me.
In an odd way, it was comforting to be in the isolation of my small town. But I also found myself reaching out to people in whatever way I could. Most often this was via the tiny computer that fits in the palm of my hand, that I carry everywhere. It wasn't that I really had any news to share. Certainly not any good news, other than that each day brought my mom closer to the end of suffering. But the very fact that I could share something, anything, with others was unexpectedly comforting. The simple words and thoughts I received back sustained me.
What I took away from those bedside days is this: We live in an amazing time, where technology has enormous (and yet still largely untapped) power to heal us. And yet we don't have to be connected all of the time for that healing power to touch us. We just need it at the right time. "Always on" is nice, but "always there" might be even better.