Last week the world lost yet another legendary comedian. Joan Rivers died on September 4 following complications from vocal chord surgery.
As expected, celebrities and comedians took to social media, giving their condolences and sharing their fondest memories of Rivers. The flood of grief was heartfelt, though impersonal and probably a bit more maudlin than Rivers would have wanted.
However, with Rivers best-known in her later years for her gossipy, snarky critiques of celebrity fashion, who better to eulogize her than a New York Post gossip columnist?
Longtime New York Post writer Cindy Adams this weekend revealed intimate details surrounding Rivers’ death. In a column for Page Six Adams stated that she had known Rivers for decades, saw the comedian at her best, and knew “who she liked, who she didn’t.”
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the Rivers that Adams saw last week. The writer described the comedian as she was while lying helpless in a medically-induced coma:
Last week I saw a Joan Rivers one shouldn’t see. Pale and still as marble. Uncommunicative. No makeup. No cameras. No one-liners. No movement. Wires hooked to machines. The blonde head in bandages.
Adams revealed that Rivers’ daughter Melissa Rivers did not leave her mother’s side during the ordeal. Melissa reportedly slept at the hospital while helping to coordinate plans with family and business partners. Adams made it clear that those close enough to visit Joan in the hospital knew she was dying, though that fact wasn’t spoken aloud:
Around her our thoughts were loud; our words, soft. We gently talked tentative plans – like longtime assistant Jocelyn caring for Joan’s dogs – because doctors knew. Tests proved. What was feared wasn’t voiced. But we understood. She could feel no pain. She’d never suffer through some longterm debilitating sickness. Our Joan wasn’t there anymore.
Adams also described Rivers’ funeral service on Saturday. Close celebrity friends including Donald Trump, Barbara Walters, Hugh Jackman, and others attended. The ceremony began with New York City’s Gay Men’s Chorus singing show tunes and ended with a prayer.
We are so honored to be part of this occasion. Joan was a great supporter & friend of the chorus. http://t.co/jH0isYXmE5
— NYC Gay Men's Chorus (@nycgaychorus) September 8, 2014