Today family and close friends bade a final farewell to Elizabeth Edwards.
She will be laid to her final rest near her beloved first son, Wade. The Methodist Church was filled with loving friends from far and wide. Outside a few hundred supporters stood in a steady rain to form a counter protest to the five hate-filled messengers who showed up from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.
The major eulogy was spoken by her eldest child and elder daughter, Cate, who gave us another glimpse into the life of her extraordinary and caring mother.
We all lost something today. Her children lost a fiercely loving mother and a striking role model. The rest of us lost a strong advocate for the folks that society is forgetting more and more each day. Elizabeth Edwards’s brave smile showed us what courage could be. There are not many folks who can look death straight in the face and not flinch. It means that she also could look life straight in the face with optimism and an open heart.
From the State Department Hillary summed up our national gratitude to Elizabeth. [Here]
I am deeply saddened by the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. America has lost a passionate advocate for building a more humane and just society, for reforming our health care system, and for finding a cure for cancer once and for all. But the Edwards family and her legion of friends have lost so much more -- a loving mother, constant guardian, and wise counselor. Our thoughts are with the Edwards family at this time, and with all those people across the country who met Elizabeth over the years and found an instant friend--someone who shared their experiences and offered empathy, understanding and hope. She made her mark on America, and she will not be forgotten.
The day before she died, Elizabeth left this Facebook message for us: [Here]
You all know that 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. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined.
The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human.
But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.
Rest in peace, Elizabeth. We dare not forget your courage and love...