The Real Legacy of Joan Rivers

In Creating Happiness, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

joan rivers feature

The world lost a wonderful person this week. Most will remember her for her comedic talents and all of the inroads that she made for female comedy performers. I never saw her do a live performance but I can truly say that every time I tuned in to any program on which she was appearing, I always found myself laughing out loud and that is saying something. But, while I always appreciated her professional accomplishments, I couldn’t help but notice that she was a person who was loved by so many and despite the persona that she displayed for her act, she always conducted herself with dignity and presented herself as a real lady. Therefore, it is no surprise to me that she has received the outpouring of love and admiration that she has gotten from so many people everywhere. However, I just knew that there was more to her than even what I was able to discern from my very distant observations and I received confirmation of that today.

I am very grateful to Joan Rivers, not only for the laughter that she brought into our lives but also for showing the world that you can be a part of the entertainment community and be successful without selling your very heart and soul to get ahead.

I was reading an article about the funeral service that was held for her today and there were two sentences buried in the middle of the piece that caught my eye:

“Her accountant got up and said, ‘Even when she didn’t have money, she was giving it away,'” (Access Hollywood’s Billy) Bush said. “They talked about how grateful she was as a person, just grateful.”

Now that is a legacy! For all of her talents and intelligence and great public appeal, you couldn’t help but notice that there was so much more to this lady than what we saw in the public and I, for one, am glad this has been recognized and noted by others and shared with the world. We never heard anything about the money that she gave away to others and we only had hints about how she was filled with gratitude when she made statements such as if she were to die tomorrow, she just wanted everyone to know that she had had a wonderful life.

I am very grateful to Joan Rivers, not only for the laughter that she brought into our lives but also for showing the world that you can be a part of the entertainment community and be successful without selling your very heart and soul to get ahead. What she accomplished in her life was hard earned and never handed to her and she never forgot that and neither should we. She always fought for the right to express whatever it was that she believed even when it wasn’t the prevailing politically correct opinion of the day. She was truthful and honest and put her family and friends first in her life.

I don’t know about anyone else but I want to have a legacy like Joan Rivers. I may not be a comedian and exist in my work in the public eye but I want to be remembered for sharing with others when I didn’t have enough for myself and I want to be remembered as being grateful for what I have and for the people who are in my life and for each and every day that I get to spend on this earth. And while I am talking about gratitude, I am grateful for Joan Rivers and for the example that she set for all of us. This is how I choose to remember her and I’ll bet I am not the only one who will do the same thing.