I’ve never met Elizabeth Edwards, but my bet is that she was a strong woman.
Cancer. Losing a child. Infidelity.
While countless people grapple with and struggle through these very hardships each day, what must it have been like for Mrs. Edwards who had to hurt in the public eye?
She fought her cancer. She mourned her son. She endured a betrayal and stayed with her husband, for a time. She did all of that with everybody watching, and that ain’t easy.
I don’t know if Mrs. Edwards was a woman of faith, but that strength had to come from somewhere. For me, the strength to get out of bed, to face the hardships, to reconcile and to heal does not come from myself or the power of positive thinking, but from my faith in God — my faith that it is by His strength I can persevere.
Life is hard enough to live, but to have to live it with the scrutiny of the media, as did Mrs. Edwards, is a whole different ballgame. Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University put it nicely.
“It’s incredibly difficult to go through the death of a child, cancer and the infidelity of a husband — that would be trying to any human being. To then have to do it with the kind of a scrutiny of being a public figure and not misstep while doing it is pretty extraordinary. She went through this in the public eye with a good deal of grace. I suppose graceful would be the word I would use if I had to boil down Elizabeth Edwards into a single word.”
In a Facebook message…
“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.” She added: “The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that.”
On the death of her son…
“For many months, she visited Wade’s grave site every day. She took him his SAT score when it arrived after his death. She read him books from his classmates’ school reading list, she said in her memoir. It was after his death that she, who had always used her own family name professionally, became Elizabeth Edwards.”