Readers remember Elizabeth Edwards for her grace under fire
December 7th, 2010
06:54 PM ET

Readers remember Elizabeth Edwards for her grace under fire

Elizabeth Edwards' death has prompted an outpouring of emotional responses from people whose lives have been touched by cancer and others who simply admired the grace with which she fought the disease.

Edwards died Tuesday morning in her Chapel Hill, North Carolina, home after a 6-year battle with breast cancer, her family said Tuesday afternoon. Edwards had announced on Monday that she had given up treatment after doctors told her it would be "unproductive."

Within minutes of posting news of her death, our blog was flooded with readers' tributes.

"Rest in Peace Elizabeth...your grace through so many difficult times will always be remembered! May your Children find solace in knowing many of us are grieving with them!" one reader said.

"I'm saddened to hear of Elizabeth's sudden passing. My mother also died from cancer at age 62 and its a loss that forever changes your life. I pray for all of the Edwards Family that they will find comfort and strength and peace during this difficult time. Life is soo precious and every day that we are given is a gift! Let us all remember that..." another said.

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In life, Edwards had multiple roles, including political wife, best-selling author, attorney and advocate for health care reform. But to many readers, she was remembered as a role model.

"Elizabeth truly set an amazing example not only for her children, but also for us all. She showed us how to be strong in the face of overwhelming adversity. Elizabeth also taught many of us the meaning of dedication, not only to family but also to one's faith. She proved that it is possible to speak your mind and defend your honor and do so gracefully. She's put up an amazing fight in many areas of her life. May she rest in peace. My deepest condolences to her family on their loss," one reader said.

Another reader put it in fewer words: "We will miss you, Elizabeth. You were a source of strength and inspiration to all women who are fighting this horrible, cruel disease. I hope you found peace."

Many seemed to connect with Edwards on a personal level, be it as a cancer survivor, an embattled wife or grieving mother. Several comments referenced her son, Wade, who died in a car wreck in 1996.

"I imagine her son Wade was there to meet her and she is now surrounded with peace and love."

If readers had nothing but kind words for Edwards, the topic of her estranged husband, former presidential candidate John Edwards, provoked equally intense negative comments.

Some disparaged the former North Carolina senator for his affair with an aide that led to his separation from his wife. Most of those comments resulted in rebukes from others. ("For everyone wanting to post something negative about John Edwards, this is not about him. Don't cheapen her life and her death by mentioning their relationship.")

Then, there were those who chose to cast the marital strife as yet another example of Elizabeth Edwards' resilience and strength under fire.

"May she rest in peace. The woman handled politics, infidelity, cancer and death with poise and dignity."

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soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Debbie

    "Grace" and "dignity" are the two words that come to mind thinking of Elizabeth Edwards. And "strength" – what strength. That this woman could suffer the loss of a beloved son, a foul, painful disease and the public betrayal by her husband, without turning bitter, or mean – it's an inspiration. I suspect Elizabeth Edwards touched many people during her lifetime, and in her death is touching many more.

    December 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. osei

    May her soul rest in eternal peace. She was gracious. We will miss her.

    December 7, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cheo


    December 7, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jerry

    So what? Women die of breast cancer everyday. Women who have worked harder and longer than she has. We only recognize this lady cause of her shifty, slick willy husband. Why are we putting this tag along above the others?

    December 7, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jen

      well for one Jerry - she was more than the wife of john edwards - 2ndly, because as a famous person that she was (whether you like it or not) she is also the public face in which to put to all the other women (and men) that have died of cancer - she was a hero to me and my husband - who just faced an awful battle of genetic cancer - because she gives hope and inspiration to those that might have otherwise given up

      sorry her death is such a burden to you personally Jerry – but to many others, like myself and my husband, her life, courage and death are something we will remember for the rest of our lives

      December 7, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      We honor her because she stands for every women that bravery faces breast cancer every day with the hope it will be cured. I honor her because she never publicly showed the fear and pain but always showed hope. My heart goes out to the families who are living with or have died of a terminal illness. It's always a great loss.

      December 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BVJ

      What a pathetic little man you must be.

      December 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Persio

      You're a cold hearted idiot!

      December 8, 2010 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Angie

    May you rest in peace Miss Elizabeth. You are in a better place now....

    December 7, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Shannon

    I am a North Carolina woman who was brought to tears by the loss of Elizabeth Edwards today. Her strength, grace, determination and humble spirit were an inspiration to so many.

    God bless the Edward's family.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Connie

    Dear Edwards children,
    Your mother was a great lady. Follow her dignified example as life tosses us all around.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Terri

    I am so saddened by her death. I feel like I knew her personally, yet I did not. What an inspirational woman; full of grace, forgiveness, and such character. My heart goes out to her family. May they find comfort in the midst of their grief.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Marcia Greene

    I heard Elizabeth Edwards speak in '07 and was so very impressed with her wisdom, poise and thorough knowledge of the issues. I hope her children will always remember how widely admired and respected she was. A great lady, who passed too soon.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Veritas

    God bless and rest your soul elizabeth. you were an example to women everywhere. my thoughts and prayers are with your children.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bob Rock

    I find it offensive that people push their religion on this woman, who obviously was an atheist. She did not have faith in god, but "perseverance". Imagine if a religious person died and I commented like this: I'm so sorry about your death, but your religion was nothing but fantasy. No angels will meet you on the "other side", no wonderful place to await you. You'll just be dead. That's it!" If I said that, I can see that many of you would tell me how inappropriate my coment was, regardless of my beliefs.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • BVJ

      And who says so.... you? Another angry small little man with no soul or heart or brain.

      December 7, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chaiah

    This world has lost a good person. She carried herself with such grace and dignity though some very difficult times. Her example is one I wish we would all follow. Rest in Peace, Elizabeth, and here's to hopes that your loved ones cherish all the wonderful memories of you they must have. Chaiah

    December 7, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Steph

    Very sad to hear of the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. God bless her and her family.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MJ

    Elizabeth Edwards was a role model to most women. She exemplified courage in face of defeat! She went forward when her husband was in disgrace and let it prove it was no reflection on her character. A role model for most women.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Claire

    As a mother, my heart is broken for her. You know she just wanted more time with her children. I've been a lifelong Republican, but I always thought well of Elizabeth Edwards and thought she was just a completely gracious lady. She was compassionate, smart, and an inspiration to every woman who simply tries to do good with her life and leave the world a better place. God Bless, my dear. We'll miss you. My thoughts and love are with the beautiful children you leave behind.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
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