Melissa Rivers Orchestrated 'Perfect' Funeral for Her Mother

Pam WrightLife

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Melissa Rivers was the orchestrator of everything surrounding her mother's funeral in Manhattan on Sunday, and one of Joan Rivers' closest friends, Margie Stern, said Joan would have been very proud of her daughter.

"Melissa is amazing," Stern told People magazine. "I told Melissa, 'Your mother would be so proud of you.' She handled everything. She did everything exactly as her mother would have wanted."

Joan's funeral was a star-studded affair that drew paparazzi and hundreds of fans to areas outside Emanu-El Temple, where the service took place.

The funeral itself was attended by dozens of A-list celebrities including David Letterman, Kathy Griffin, Matthew Broderick and wife Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Sawyer, Geraldo Rivera, Donald Trump, Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Rosie O’Donnell, Charlie Rose and Kelly Osbourne.

Howard Stern provided a sweet and, at times, irreverent eulogy, and Melissa read a letter to her mother.

“I’m grateful for everything you’ve done for Cooper and me,” Melissa said.

Film and Broadway star Hugh Jackman — who rode his bicycle to the service— sang a tune from The Boy from Oz.

“Joan, this is for you,” Jackman said before performing. “But since you asked for it, you already know that.”

Stern said Melissa attended to every detail of her mother's funeral and it was perfect.

"I'm in awe of the way she handled everything," she said.

"Every minute of the service was perfect, warm, touching, often slap-your-knee hilarious, and was never as she’d joked, over the top or so filled with A-listers that the importance of the occasion was outshone by idiots posing on a red carpet," said Joan's friend, Linda Stasi, in an article for the Daily News.

The funeral came a little over a week after Rivers was rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital in respiratory and cardiac arrest following a routine throat procedure at a nearby medical clinic.

Melissa and her son, Cooper, immediately flew in from California to be by her mother's side as she was reportedly placed in a medically induced coma.

According to Stern, Melissa took great care to be sure her mother spent her final hours in comfort and looking beautiful.

"That was hard. But she was in a room with flowers and music. It was fragrant. It was amazing," says Stern, who was at the hospital "all day, every day."

"Joan looked beautiful at the end," said Stern.

Rivers died on Sept. 4 at the age of 81.

Pam Wright