Can We Talk?

>> Sunday, September 21, 2014

It’s been forever since my writing “grrrr” went on a rampage. My blog has cobwebbed waiting for my return, but I just haven’t had anything to say worthy of putting fingers to keyboard. That all changed with the death of Joan Rivers.
Public Domain Photo

My muse went on the loose.

I was not a fan. Comedians often make me feel stupid because I don’t “get” their brand of humor or worse, their material is rude, crude, and crass.

I’ll give Ms. Rivers’ her perks: She was very good at everything I hate. Her style of entertainment annoyed me at best and appalled me at worst. To hear someone so outrageously mean and filthy-mouthed be applauded as a genius of her “craft” was just a bit hard for me to swallow.

That being said, her death was a loss to many. Her family is devastated and friends and fans mourn. I feel bad for those personally effected and would never discount their pain. Too bad the media never learned the fine art of empathy.

From the moment she fell ill, the press has dissected and regurgitated every second of Joan Rivers’ career. Her success and failures have been hashed and rehashed, her personal tragedies splayed in the headlines. One in particular shook me to the core.

To further her career, Joan Rivers took a job hosting her own talk show. Because of that, Johnny Carson, her ‘friend’, never spoke to her again. The show was a failure, her producer/husband was fired, and as a result, he committed suicide. Her daughter held Joan responsible for her father’s death and a breach in their relationship pushed Joan to the brink.

She too considered suicide. . .until her dog jumped on her lap and sat down on the loaded gun. When she realized there would be no one to care for her beloved friend, she changed her mind.

Talk about an epiphany.

We lost Robin Williams just a few short weeks ago then another high-profile celebrity shares the pain they suffered that nearly caused them to take their life. We ‘tsk-tsk’ and shake our heads in wonder at how those that “have it all” could possibly consider such an action.

I think we forget something: They’re just people like the rest of us. Their hurts are no less intense while the world magnifies their agony by making comments on social media.

But maybe there’s a redeeming rainbow that comes out of a storm of lives lived in the public eye:  They’re lives are in the public eye. Oxymoron? Maybe, but hear me out.

The death of Robin Williams, sadly enough, zeroed in on the subject of suicide. It’s not an easy topic to discuss, but if I’ve learned anything in the last couple of years, it’s in the talking that lives are saved.

I can’t help but wonder if because we live in a world that now eats, lives, and breathes the information highway, just how many conversations about suicide took place in the few days after the death of Mr. Williams.

Same thing with Joan Rivers. How many people considering suicide stopped short when they heard her story? Were lives saved?

We can only hope.

Two years ago, I became involved in a local suicide walk sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. To find out more about what lead to that, check out this post

In two weeks, I will again be walking in the Branch County Out of the Darkness Walk. If you'd care to donate, your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Joy Avery Melville September 21, 2014 at 9:28 PM  

The lioness has roared the roar of INTELLIGENCE. . .great post. . .glad I check to see what you'd written, Kim.
Much can be learned from the people LEFT BEHIND to mourn - if those were the ones we listened to.


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