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. Mary

    Today at about noon... I was painting and I felt compelled to paint a different portrait than the one I had begun – that of Elizabeth. It is abstract and she was looking upwards and leaving the planet. We lost a daughter to breast cancer. My thoughts and love are with you all. We are not our body. There is such mystery, and there is some comfort in that thought. The timing of this painting was rather fortuitous...it was about the time that Elizabeth was leaving. Loving thoughts to all of the family Mary

    December 7, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Have a story similar to yours. Years ago was in Columbus Ohio visiting my mother in law and we had arrived in very late from the airport. Stopped in a bar next to the hotel we were staying in and can't explain it but felt an urge to play Johnny Cash on the jukebox. Found out the next morning that around the time I was playing the songs Johnny Cash had passed away. Not a religious person and have no explanation.

      Anyway, whatever your politics are, I usually vote Republican, one remembers that we are all human and feel sorrow at the passing of a great person as Elizabeth Edwards. My condolences to her family and friends.

      Lastly, I supported the Jon Stewart rally, that in the end we are all Americans and we are all inherently good people and can rally around a good cause or a good person when the occasion arises.

      December 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mark Waldron

    I didn't know her personally. Nor did I follow her during the Edwards campaign for office. I did read her final thoughts about life, and ultimately, her death and it saddened me. For a woman who had all the money, power,and success, she never forgot where she came from..........a very humble beginning. She wasn't "above" anyone and for this I honor this woman and send my prayers to her family and friends God Bless!

    December 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JP

    My father walked the road that Mrs. Edwards has now taken and all in all, he taught me to live each and every day. To have grace, dignity, and compassion. Elizabeth Edwards mirrored those qualities and for her family, especially her children, they will remember the good times and they way in which she conducted herself. Head held high, and always pushing forward. We are all bonded by death and the loss felt, and while the flesh is no longer a part of the lives of those that we love, she will always be a part of the spirit and inspiration that lives within her children. She is at peace and with God, and He has taken away all the pain of this world. May God Bless her family in this time of loss and show them the way to draw strength together and honor her life by fulfilling her legacy and dream to free all people of illness and pain.

    December 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Elizabeth

    Her compassion towards others who are sick had borne fruit; she fought for health care for others even more than for a cure for herself. She showed her love, hope, and dedication as a leader and a mother. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. May her memory be eternal, and may she rest in peace.

    December 7, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. art

    I said that she was married to a cad. My husband said that she was married to a Pontiac

    December 7, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kasia Wojtowicz

    I dont know what it is ... but I am deeply sadden by passing of Mrs Edwards> IThere is just something about this story that caught my attentions and it is not letting go. I cant express how sorry I am for her and the battles she had to go through. It makes me really reflect my struggles which are NOTHING compare to what she had to go through. I am evaluating my life.. it could be cut at any moment. I want to strive to be the best, to inspire my daughter, and amaze people around me.
    you will be missed- Elizabeth

    December 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Koonfuroow

    Elizabeth Edward was a role model and an inspiration to many Americans both women and men. She was a great American who cared deeply for the uncared for. The world has lost a great advocate for equality today.

    December 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JHerwig

    Elizabeth Edwards wasa great role model for us all. There are many woman that could learn some grace from this woman. I hope she is at peace now. Our prayers and thoughts are with her children at this very hard time.

    December 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Corinne Hensley

    What a great lady! She will be so missed.

    December 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mdobney

    May she rest in peace...with her son, Wade.

    December 7, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. p.marcia

    May God's graces be with her children and loved ones during this very difficult, impossible time. Elizabeth is with her beloved Wade once again, imagine the stories she will share with him?, and the way he has welcomed her with a hug and followed by a pack on the back as he always did. God's speed, our brave, graceful and joyous Elizabeth.

    December 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jacqueline

    It has been said, "A Lady always knows when to leave." May our Lord and Saviour Bless and Keep you all...

    December 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Protoman

    I wonder what level of Hades is reserved for John? His wife was more patient of a human than I would have been.

    December 7, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kelvin from dallas,tx

    She handled all that was being throwned her way with dignity and poise, in life and death I have nothing but love and respect for her and the family

    December 7, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. drew

    God's speed Mrs Edwards!

    December 7, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
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