Elizabeth Edwards to be buried in Raleigh, next to son - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Elizabeth Edwards to be buried in Raleigh, next to son

Posted: Updated:
Elizabeth Edwards (Photo courtesy of WRAL) Elizabeth Edwards (Photo courtesy of WRAL)

RALEIGH, NC (WBTV & AP) - A public memorial service is planned this weekend to honor the life of Elizabeth Edwards. 

A family friend says Edwards will be honored Saturday at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh.  The public is allowed to attend the event which is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. 

She will be buried at Oakwood Cemetery alongside her son, Wade Edwards, who died 14 years ago after flipping his Jeep.

Edwards, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, died of cancer on Tuesday at her home in Chapel Hill.  She was 61.

A statement released by the family Monday on behalf of Elizabeth Edwards indicated that physicians recently told her there would be no further benefit from continuing her cancer treatments.  She had been battling cancer for six years.

A friend said her estranged husband, former presidential candidate John Edwards, their children, and her brother and sister, were by her side.

In the statement, Edwards thanked those who supported and inspired her as she faced the possibility that she had just a few more weeks to live.

Friends of Edwards say she left her children a letter with life advice on topics such as how to pick a church, or even a spouse.  In her final days, she also made sure Christmas decorations were up for her children.

Friends say John Edwards was deeply upset by his wife's death, but now wants to be a good father.

Elizabeth Edwards separated from her husband about a year ago after learning that he fathered a child with his mistress during his second campaign for the White House.

Despite her battle with cancer and news of her husband's affair, Elizabeth Edwards spent the last years of her life focusing on reforming the country's health care system toward a single-payer process designed to serve all.

Her battle with cancer started in 2004 and she shared with the public the most intimate struggles of her bouts with the disease.

She was first diagnosed with cancer in the final weeks of the 2004 presidential campaign, when John Edwards was a U.S. senator from North Carolina and also the Democratic nominee for vice president.  The couple didn't disclose her illness until the end of the 2004 presidential campaign.

The cancer went into remission after months of treatment, but it resurfaced in early 2007, as John Edwards was mounting a second run at the White House.  The Edwardses agreed at the time that they wouldn't allow the cancer to derail his candidacy.

Because the cancer had moved into her bones in 2007, her doctors said at that time that it was no longer curable, but could be treated.

The Edwards family released the following statement Tuesday afternoon concerning Elizabeth Edwards' death:

Elizabeth Anania Edwards, mother, author, advocate died today at her home in Chapel Hill, surrounded by her family.

Today, we have lost the comfort of Elizabeth's presence but she remains the heart of this family.

We love her and will never know anyone more inspiring or full of life.

On behalf of Elizabeth we want to express our gratitude to the thousands of kindred spirits who moved and inspired her along the way.  Your support and prayers touched our entire family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wade Edwards Foundation which benefits the Wade Edwards Learning Lab.

The family released the following statement from Elizabeth Edwards on Monday:

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. It isn't possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.

With love,
Elizabeth
 

Copyright 2010 WBTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.