Hard-hearted JOHN EDWARDS humiliated his brave wife Elizabeth by cheat­ing on her as she battled deadly breast cancer – and now he’s treating her just as cruelly in death.

The beloved wife of the disgraced presidential candidate passed away at age 61 in December 2010, but skirt-chasing Edwards has still not placed a proper headstone on her grave.

The ENQUIRER learned that, thankfully, Elizabeth has loving siblings who can no longer wait for Edwards to act. They’ve com­missioned a marker by the same sculptor who created a large marble angel for the couple’s son Wade. He tragically perished in a 1996 car crash at age 16.

Meanwhile, the heartbroken family has placed a temporary foot­stone on her grave at the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, N.C., which does not include Elizabeth’s name or her date of birth and death, but rather lyrics from a poignant Leonard Cohen song: “Ring the bells that still can ring/Forget your perfect offering/There is a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.”

Those are reportedly the same words the valiant mom had painted on her kitchen wall shortly before her passing. “For 19 months after her death, Elizabeth’s grave was marked with only a 5-by-7 card that could hardly be seen,” an angry family insider told The ENQUIRER.

“Many people who went to put flowers on her grave were horri­fied to see she didn’t have a headstone.

“Although Eliza­beth and John had separated, he was still married to her when she passed away, so her family was waiting for him to make sure she had a proper monu­ment.

“They were pa­tient, but when it was approaching the two-year mark, her siblings decided to chip in to make sure Elizabeth was treated with respect. They have asked sculptor Robert Mihaly to cre­ate a magnificent monument.”

A series of historic WORLD-EXCLUSIVE ENQUIRER stories revealed how Elizabeth’s heart was shattered when she learned that – despite months of heated denials – Edwards had fathered a child with his mis­tress Rielle Hunter.

Said the insider: “Now Edwards is treating his wife in death the same way he treated her in life – shame­fully.”