The breaking news that Elizabeth Edwards died this morning came across my computer just a few minutes ago. I find myself choked up, and for that I feel sort of silly; after all, I only knew Edwards through her public life, first as a political spouse, then — oh, so famously — as a political spouse done wrong.
But I grieve her passing.
Life in the public eye isn’t easy for anyone. But to live a life filled with heartbreak in the public eye must be most difficult of all. The death of a son, the philandering of a husband, the struggle of an unforgiving disease: through it all, Edwards kept going with dignity, with grace.
She was in Livingston County just two months ago to speak at a luncheon of the Livingston Economic Club at Cleary University. A tireless advocate for children’s issues and health care reform, she talked about continuing her work on behalf of those with a smaller safety net.
Now, just eight weeks later, Elizabeth Edwards is gone, leaving us with a lesson in courage, in fortitude, of living our lives as well as we can no matter our circumstances.