As retrospectives eulogizing Joan Rivers’ life begin to roll in on news of her death early today, most will make mention of her final age of 81. Yet though her license may have said as much, there was nothing about Joan Rivers that ever betrayed her youthful irreverence.
For her fans—and there are a lot of them—Joan Rivers did not exemplify the phrase “aging gracefully.”
She was a poster child for plastic surgery and lauded her procedures to anyone who would listen. She fought aging tooth and nail from her boundless, non-stop energy, to her youthful looks. Rivers died with 27 dates booked for appearances.
Those her own age looked to her as the friend they’d love to have—witty, vivacious, and full of the kind of spit-and-vinegar that makes each day exciting. Those from the boomer generation saw her as the maternal figure they might like to see in their own mothers. One part self-deprecating, one-part hell-raiser, Rivers exuded a sense of great warmth and quick intelligence. For millennials she was the Fashion Police team leader and most of them never missed her show on the E channel, where she was a huge earner.
As you reflect on the passing of Joan Rivers let her life serve as an example of how to live life to its fullest, regardless of your age. Her face may have changed over the years, but not her spirit and zest for life.
And we are all the better for that.
Joan Rivers, 1933-2014