“There are some days that it feels like 10 years and some days where it feels like yesterday. But that’s the normal grieving process,” Melissa said Tuesday on the Today show. “Everyone expects me to have this sort of elevated or heightened experience, and the truth is — and I say this all the time — grief is grief is grief. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the public eye or a private person, it goes at your own pace.”
The 49-year-old recently collected her mother’s monologues, notes, letters from famous friends and rare photographs for the new book Joan Rivers Confidential.
“It was like chamber after chamber after chamber,” she said of going through Joan’s belongings. “It’s no wonder we have these extraordinary storage bills.”
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Joan was 81 at the time of her death. The comedian had stopped breathing while undergoing a surgical procedure on her vocal cords and was rushed from the clinic to Mount Sinai Hospital. There, she was placed in a medically induced coma and died a week later on Sept. 4, 2014.
Another person who misses the legendary comedian is her grandson, Cooper.
“She was the one he went to when he was annoyed with me, so now as a 16-year-old boy, he would be on the phone all the time,” Melissa said.
She added, “My mom says I’m much stricter with Cooper than she was with me, which is crazy because I spent a good part of high school grounded. She would tell me I’m a better parent than she was, and I don’t think I am — I think I’m just different.”
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Melissa also said that her mother rarely had to apologize for her jokes, although she never meant to offend anyone.
“She knew when she went too far,” she said. “One of the things I talk about in the book is she one time she heard that Willie Nelson’s daughter was upset about a joke, so she pulled it immediately from her act.”
Melissa added, “She never had to [apologize]. And anyone she did, she would always reach out and say, ‘If I hurt you, I am sorry. It was never my intention.’ And people lose it about Fashion Police too. When you’re being paid $20 million per picture and you’re getting all free clothes, lighten up. You can take a joke.”