Elizabeth Edwards Dies From Breast Cancer
Over 100 American women die of breast cancer every day.
And today, Elizabeth Edwards was one of those 100 women. She's finally lost her battle with this cruel disease; and her passing will be noted by more than the usual circle of family and friends.
Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Presidential candidate John Edwards, is being mourned by all of us in the breast cancer sisterhood. As well as by all of us who’ve suffered through a terrible tragedy, and somehow managed to come to grips with life, and move on – as Elizabeth has done, more than once.
Elizabeth Edwards was a woman who fought some very private battles in full view of the public. She endured every mother’s nightmare – the loss of a child. And every woman’s terror – breast cancer. She even suffered through the worst fear of every wife – a cheating husband. And yet, she held onto her hope, her trust in the goodness of life, and her belief in herself.
Under hospice care in her North Carolina home, Elizabeth was clearly facing the end of her life. None of us know what she was feeling, though it was almost certainly overwhelming sadness for her two youngest children: Jack, 10; and Emma Claire, 12.
For months, Elizabeth had been writing letters to all three of her children (including 28-year-old Cate). But words on paper won’t replace the bear hug for Jack; the girl talk with Emma Claire, or dancing at Cate’s wedding.
All of us have imagined this fate for ourselves. We’ve been to the precipice; we’ve looked into the black abyss. And thankfully, death hasn’t claimed us – yet.
But it’s come now for Elizabeth. And for her, we suffer and grieve.
Elizabeth’s final words in public are this post on her Facebook page:
“You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.”
The simple act of living with hope.
The daily effort to have a positive impact in the world.
Words I’ll remember, and live by.
Elizabeth continued, “It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know. With love, Elizabeth.”
Yes, Elizabeth – we know. Thanks for showing us how to live – and now, how to die – with wisdom and infinite grace.
Take a moment to read our community's coverage of Elizabeth Edwards from over the years.