August 28, 2008

Stop. Now.

On August 26, Daily Kos posted a blog entry blasting Brad Cone of North Carolina for criticizing Elizabeth Edwards. Cone thinks her a bad person for knowing her husband had an affair and not -- well, I don't know what Cone wanted her to do. Divorce his sorry butt? Sell her story to The National Enquirer?

While the intention over at Daily Kos was kind, the result is a continuation of the conversation about who was doing what to whom when and who knew who was doing what to whom when.

I've kept quiet until now, hoping the conversation would be supplanted by the Democratic convention, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia's military, and the question of whether Gustav will kick New Orleans in the head while it's down. But the topic isn't going away. The frisson of joy and energy people get when discussing the Edwardses is clearly addictive. The world would be better served if the spectators -- by which I mean the journalists, the bloggers, the people chattering at coffee shops, the idle gossipers -- would go back to biting the heads off chickens.

There's only one way to overcome an addiction. Stop. Now.

I call for a moratorium on discussions of the purported actions, feelings, and thoughts of John and/or Elizabeth Edwards. I do so as a theologian, a former United Methodist minister, and the primary caregiver for my late husband until his death in 2000. Cancer is not a game. Cancer is a fight to the death against death. Once you know it has invaded your life, never again do you not know of its presence. People deal in different ways. Some come to terms with the diagnosis; others lie to themselves. Some strive to hope; others accept despair. Some people take up drinking, or cocaine, or whining, or harping, or prayer, or exercise, or infidelity. Each person, whether patient or caregiver, has one goal: the patient's survival. Survival is a worthy goal. It's also a total mystery to the rest of us who temporarily reside in the land of good health. Therefore, let us end this conversation and, instead, thank our lucky stars that, for the moment, we're spared a confrontation with what's best and worst about ourselves and those we love.

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