The Last Word on Liz by Denis Ferrara: REST IN PEACE
Denis wrote Liz Smith’s column for years, and in this ‘tough’ town he is as loved as she is.
Liz had a great life; she lived it more than fully; with incredible energy, intelligence and self-awareness. And she allowed me to live my own life far more expansively than I could have possibly imagined as a 7th grade dropout and teenage runaway. You don’t weep when such a gift is inevitably taken. There is only gratitude that you were wise enough — most of the time — to appreciate what was being offered, so generously.
In fact, the best last word on Liz is by Liz. It is the final chapter of her book, in which she looks over her life, what she wanted (everything!), what she got (almost everything!) and contemplates, as she puts it, “The End.” Pages 441 to 445 to be exact. I urge all who admired Liz to check out this last chapter. It is as perfect a summation of a life richly lived — and with almost twenty more years to go! — as I have ever read. Liz will have the last word, circa 2000:
“When the Fates ladled out their stuff, they said: ‘We’ll make this one insecure and give her an inferiority complex. She’ll end up behaving as if she has a massive ego, so no one will know the difference. Let’s also give her lots and lots of luck.’
“They did; so far.”