Joan Rivers’ death provides a good example for others to follow on end-of-life and funeral planning issues. She made clear to her daughter Melissa that she did not want to be kept alive on life support should there be no hope of recovery. In her book I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me, she stated what she wanted her funeral to look like.
Okay, perhaps this is a bit over-the-top for comic effect. She wrote:
“When I die… I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras action. I want Craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way. I don’t want some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents. I don’t want a eulogy; I want Bobby Vinton to pick up my head and sing, “Mr. Lonely.” I want to look gorgeous, better dead than I do alive. I want to be buried in a Valentino gown and I want Harry Winston to make me a toe tag. And I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyonce’s.”
Funeral services for Joan Rivers will be Sunday at Temple Emanu-El in New York City. She was a member of the historic Manhattan Reform Jewish congregation. Ordinarily, Jewish funerals are modest affairs, with no flowers, plain pine caskets and about as non-Hollywood as you can get. It will be interesting to see what actually happens.
She died at the age of 81, a week after she suffered complications during a routine throat procedure. Note: over the age of 80, all surgery is major surgery. Something considered “routine” can have deadly consequences. If you are in your 80s or older, think long and hard about doing any type of surgery. Your risk of stroke, cardiac arrest, and mental decline after surgery and anesthesia go way up as you get older.
Joan Rivers had made her advance medical directives and named her daughter Melissa as her decision-maker. Melissa knew what her mom would have wanted, should this type of situation happen. It’s a situation we don’t want to imagine or find ourselves in, but it happens all the time, often without warning. Don’t leave your family wondering what to do.
Talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about funerals and end-of-life issues won’t make you dead. Start a conversation today.