Elizabeth Edwards, gone too soon

Stories reporting the death of Elizabeth Edwards referred to her as “the estranged wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.”

Estranged? Does that neutral-sounding word do justice to what happened between Elizabeth and John?

The news strives for neutrality in all things, as it should, but in this case “estranged” makes me want to reach for my thesaurus. “Estranged” suggests a judgment call on her part, a difference of opinion. “Forsaken” or “betrayed” would do a better job of communicating the truth. Given the facts, they’re not as loaded as they might seem.

If Eliot Spitzer could be rehabilitated in the popular media, perhaps John Edwards will be too. Hard as it is to imagine, there may come a time when he’ll be back, seeking our approval if not our votes. It’s even harder to imagine that he’ll get them, but that may happen too.

Here’s to Elizabeth Edwards: a person of extraordinary grace and dignity, gone too soon.

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