Following Sen. John McCain’s death at age 81 on Saturday after a battle with stage-four brain cancer, the late political maverick and war hero’s daughter Meghan McCain shared a touching tribute on social media.
In a message she captioned “I love you forever – my beloved father @SenJohnMcCain,” Meghan, 33, revealed that she was by her father’s side as he “departed this life today.”
“In the thirty-three years we shared together, he raised me, taught me, corrected me, comforted me, encouraged me, and supported me in all things,” she wrote. “He taught me how to live. His love and his care, ever present, always unfailing, took me from a girl to a woman — and he showed me what it is to be a man.”
When planning her wedding to Ben Domenech last fall, Meghan pushed the date forward in the wake of her father’s cancer diagnosis. Despite his tenuous health, the ailing senator was on hand for his daughter’s big day.
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“All that I am is thanks to him,” she continued in her tribute. “Now that he is gone, the task of my lifetime is to live up to his example, his expectations, and his love. My father’s passing comes with sorrow and grief for me, for my mother, for my brothers, and for my sisters. He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth for so very long. We know that his flame lives on, in each of us. The days and years to come will not be the same without my dad — but they will be good days, filled with life and love, because of the example he lived for us.”
Cindy McCain, the Senator’s wife of 38 years, also mourned the loss on social media.
“My heart is broken,” tweeted Cindy, 64, minutes after her family announced his death.
“I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years,” she continued. “He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”
Sen. McCain, the former POW and outspoken Republican politician nicknamed The Maverick for being unafraid to disagree with fellow members of his party, died at 4:28 p.m. on Saturday, his family announced in a statement, according to NBC News.
McCain is survived by wife Cindy, and his children: Douglas, Andrew, and Sidney (all with first wife Carol McCain) and Meghan, Jack, James, and Bridget, with Cindy.
On Friday, his family said that Sen. McCain, “with his usual strength of will,” decided to stop treatment for the stage-four brain cancer he had been battling since its diagnosis last summer.
“In the year since,” the McCain family said, “John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict.”