Joan Rivers: 1933-2014

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By Cheryl S. Grant–

Yesterday we said a final farewell to the incomparable Joan Rivers. The world has truly lost someone special. Rivers was not just wonderful because of her body of work as a comedian but also because of her zest for life. The first words I ever heard her mutter was “can we talk?” I couldn’t help but stop what I was doing to listen to her speak because she made me feel as if that statement was directed towards me.

Her jokes were raunchy at times to some even offensive. She tackled topics that made people uncomfortable, such as Michael Jackson. She seemingly had no filter, perhaps because she decided a long time before I knew who she was, that she was going to live life by her own rules. I think that she knew that the old boys’ club had their standards and she couldn’t be like them so she could only be herself. Thank goodness she was, because she inspired a generation of women and paved the way for others.

Through her I learned that even through life’s most difficult times you have to find the humor in the situation. I learned that you don’t get  a free ride so work your butt off and don’t complain.  For goodness sake she was 81 and working as hard as ever when she passed! And although I loved her work ethic, it was her honesty that I really appreciated. She never sugarcoated her life. That’s honorable.

Rivers spoke of her husband’s suicide and how she thought of taking her own life. She spoke about her failures, such as her talk show. She was open about how fearful she was about not being booked anymore. In her documentary she points out that having blank pages on her calendar was one of her fears. I guess she might have interpreted that as not being as relevant as she used to be.

Nothing more could have been further from the truth because people loved her on Fashion Police and lived for her approval and disapproval. Plus, she had just released a new book, Diary of a Mad Diva. Some stars have even commented that they felt they had made it because she made fun of their fashion choices.

Although I never met her and she wasn’t a member of my family, I can honestly say that I will miss Joan Rivers immensely. Life on earth will not be the same. We have lost a beautiful, glowing light.