Elizabeth Edwards was not afraid to share her grief journey with others, and bereaved parents could relate to her as she was genuine. I had the opportunity to meet her and also hear her speak at the TCF Conference in Oklahoma City, Okla., a few years ago.
Parents appreciated her openness and willingness to talk to everyone. She made her pilot and entourage wait at the airport until she had signed every book and talked to each bereaved parent. Ministering to and being with others like herself was more important to her than political commitments. How many politicians and or their families make that type of sacrifice for their careers?
I have read much of what Elizabeth has written and have been very impressed with how she truly loved her family. She was an ordinary person who lived in an extraordinary world where everyone was watching. She endured the infidelity of her husband and yet seldom humiliated him in the public eye.
Many wives would have “thrown him under the bus” long before he had an opportunity to betray her publicly. Most people do not have much compassion or understanding for a straying spouse when the wife or husband is facing a death sentence with health problems. Any previous marital problems are forgotten by the public and the betrayer loses his/her respect in the public eye.
Elizabeth has won the hearts of all bereaved parents and many adults who have not experienced the death of a child. She was graceful, honest and shared her grief and trials honestly with others.
Many people relate to her as they have been betrayed or ignored by family members or friends when grief occurs in their families or trials of health, infidelity, political messes or other problems occur. Elizabeth was able to rise above her health problems and husband’s betrayal to live life as fully as possible and to make the lives of her children meaningful.
She lived the life of a bereaved mother who wanted to honor her son’s memory and yet make life for her surviving children as full of love and stability as she possibly could. The public has viewed a mother’s love and grief embodied in an ordinary woman who lived an extra ordinary life in a world that is not always fair.
Kay Bevington, editor, Alive Alone, and a bereaved momTags: anger, belongings, funerals, money, Depression, guilt, signs and connections