Monday, September 8, 2014

Rant #1,284: Never Can Say Goodbye

Yesterday was joyous in New York City, and it was also an unhappy day, too.

Only New York City can have it both ways, and it did yesterday.

It said goodbye to an entertainment icon while it also said goodbye to a sports icon.

Or, I really should say it said its final goodbyes to an entertainment icon, and simply a sports goodbye to its most popular player of the current generation of athletes.

Comedienne Joan Rivers died late last week, and as per Jewish law, the funeral was held almost right after her death.

Celebrities and more "common folk" gathered to celebrate her life, and laugh and cry at the fact that she is with us no more, and in such a tragic way.

It came out during the preparations for the funeral, at Temple Emanuel in Manhattan, that she wanted as glitzy a funeral as possible.

She wanted red carpets, she wanted celebrities, she wanted the whole nine yards, and I believe she got pretty much what she wanted.

She was cremated, which I found a bit odd, but not out of the ordinary.

Jews are supposed to leave this earth as they came here--intact--so cremation really isn't an option.

However, in today's world, more and more Jews are going the cremation route, which is actually against the religion, but it is what they want.

It's like tattoos. Jews aren't supposed to mark up their bodies this way--for religious and other reasons, including the use of numbered tattoos that were forced on Jews during the Holocaust--but more and more Jews are going this route.

What can you say? If Joan Rivers wanted to be cremated, that was her decision.

There were also tons of flowers--another Jewish funeral no-no--the playing of Amazing Grace--at a Jewish funeral?--and some other bizarre things, but as attendee Geraldo Rivera later said, it was the funniest funeral he ever attended.

Now, all that is left is the investigation into the clinic involved in her death, and we should be hearing about that somewhere down the line.

Moving uptown to the Bronx, the Yankees, fans and Major League Baseball all said goodbye to another icon yesterday, just a few weeks before he official goodbye is put into stone.

Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium had plenty of pomp and glamor, too.

The stadium was full to the brim, sports and other celebrities--I noticed Paul Simon in the stands--were in attendance, and the Yankees really know how to do this better than anyone.

He was foisted with many gifts--no, his number was not retired just yet, that will probably come in another ceremony in the near future--he was able to share the whole thing with his family, and the Yankees made a healthy contribution to his charitable organization.

He even made a speech, and as usual, said just the right thing, ended by, "We have a game to play today," which the Yankees promptly lost.

So yes, I can use Joan Rivers and Derek Jeter in the same sentence.

Two icons, two very different goodbyes, but goodbyes nonetheless.

As only New York can do them.

But with television, YouTube and the like, is it really "goodbyes" in the traditional sense?

No, not really.

Joan Rivers and Derek Jeter's artistry will live on for generations to come, because their work will be highly obtainable through many, many outlets.

Your grandkids, if they are interested, will be able to find out why Jeter and Rivers were so special, and that makes these goodbyes almost in name only, to a certain extent.

But yes, we do bid adieu to two of the most captivating people of this or any other generation, certainly of the past 50 years or so.

So to Derek Jeter and Joan Rivers, I wish both of you the best, one in her final resting place, the other in any other endeavors he hopes to pursue.

You both gave us the best, so you deserve the best too.

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