Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday to remember Elizabeth Edwards at a service in Raleigh, N.C.
Nearly 1,200 family and friends gathered where speakers remembered Edwards as a woman full of energy, humor and intellect.
"She has been a lighthouse to all of us. She's always been that source of light to us. Every lesson she has taught us has become part of our ethic," said Edwards' oldest daughter, Cate, in a eulogy to her mother. Part of her eulogy also included a passage from a letter to her children that Elizabeth Edwards spent years writing.
“I loved you in the best ways I’ve known how,” the letter said. “All I ever really needed was you, your love, your presence, to make my life complete.”
The memorial brought together numerous political figures including Sen. John Kerry, who led the 2004 Democratic presidential ticket that included John Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards’ estranged husband.
Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, a day after the Kerry-Edwards ticket lost to George W. Bush. After grueling treatments, the disease returned in an incurable form in 2007. She passed away Tuesday at the age of 61.
The last years were tumultuous ones, made difficult by John Edwards’ admission to an affair and that he fathered a child with his mistress.
Elizabeth Edwards, who was known for her grace in the face of adversity, said in an interview with the Detroit Free press that the incident helped her focus on resuming her role as an advocate for the poor and for health care reform. She also said it pushed her to refocus on her role as a mother.
Sources: The Associated Press, CNN.com, MSNBC.com