Carrie Fisher’s final wish was to be cremated. And while a small portion of her ashes were placed in her mother’s casket, the bulk of her remains were placed in a giant Prozac capsule by her daughter Billie Lourd and brother Todd Fisher (a fitting tribute to the mental health advocate) before being interred with Debbie Reynolds in a crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles last week.
Fisher died Dec. 27, days after suffering a heart attack while on a flight from London to Los Angeles. She was 60. Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, 84 died the next day of (what many believe was) a broken heart.
“Carrie’s favorite possession was a giant Prozac pill that she brought many years ago. A big pill,” Todd explained. “She loved it, and it was in her house, and Billie and I felt it was where she’d want to be.”
A private memorial for Fisher took place at her home in Beverly Hills, where Meryl Streep delivered a eulogy and sang Carrie’s favorite song, “Happy Days Are Here Again,” before a group of friends that included Meg Ryan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ellen Barkin, Courtney Love, Ed Begley Jr., and Billie Lourd’s “Scream Queens” co-stars, Taylor Lautner, Lea Michele and Emma Roberts, as well as her family and beloved French bulldog, Gary. They then dined on the same menu Fisher often served during celebrity parties at her home– fried chicken, collard greens, and cornbread.
Carrie not only admitted to but documented her lifelong struggles with bipolar disorder and her addictions to cocaine and prescription medication including Perodan, which she used to “dial down the manic aspect of her bipolar disorder. ”
“Drugs made me feel normal,” she explained during a 2001 interview for Psychology Today in 2001. “They contained me.”
For several years she also underwent electroshock therapy every 6 months to “blow apart the cement” in her brain. The treatments were discontinued in 2014.
In another interview, Fisher also admitted that she used cocaine during the filming of ‘The Empire Strikes Back,” as well as the fact that she accidentally OD’d after mixing prescription meds and sleeping pills in 1985, following months of “sobriety.” That incident became the basis for her novel and screenplay, ‘Postcards from the Edge’ (starring Streep). Meanwhile her 2008 memoir “Wishful Drinking” used humor to document another aspect of her addicted behavior. The book was based on her one-woman stage show, which she developed with writer/director Joshua Ravetch, In it, Fisher wrote the following comment, which was widely quoted by the news following her death.
“Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit—so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in the moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”
Note: Last year Harvard College presented Carrie Fisher with its Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, in recognition of “her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy.”