There is nothing harder than watching someone you love die at Christmastime.

When the news came Elizabeth Edwards was “gravely ill” yesterday, it threw me back in time to when I lost my mother who lived heroically with cancer for fifteen years so I could thrive, learn and live with her by my side. She made it through Christmas, but it was a morbidly wrenching time.

Knowing a little bit about people who survive cancer even for a while, Elizabeth Edwards would have hated this headline: “Cancer Claims Elizabeth Edwards.” Cancer didn’t “claim” my mother either. You never give a disease the last word.

Elizabeth Edwards lived a heroic, complicated and deeply troubled life. She was beloved by her husband John Edward’s supporters, but the truth is she should have been the candidate. As a fierce advocate for her husband, Elizabeth Edwards was part of a serious fraud perpetrated against people who trusted them both deeply. That John Edwards dealt her a horrific hand at the end of her fiery life is undeniable. No one will ever forget the story from “Game Change” that changed their storybook image forever.

As for John Edwards, their partnership is one of the monstrous betrayals in political history, which he will pay for the rest of his life and so will his children emotionally.

Prayers go out to the Edwards family.