Meghan McCain Is Returning to Arizona for the First Time Since Her Dad Died
After an “emotionally taxing week,” Meghan McCain is going home again — home to Arizona.
The View co-host has been candid about her grieving process in the wake of dad John McCain‘s death from brain cancer in August 2018. Last April, she shared that she still couldn’t return to the state where she grew up and where her father was a legendary senator. The hurt was still too real.
“You’re omnipresent in my life, heart and mind … and it still doesn’t feel real you aren’t here,” she wrote about her dad on Instagram in December 2018. “I try and remind myself that the intensity of the pain of missing you is important because it is a reminder of how my love for you was so incredibly strong.”
Now, Meghan tells PEOPLE, she is ready.
“I’m really looking forward to having some much needed family time,” she says.
“She knows how difficult the visit will be,” a source close to her explains. “But everyone is aware of her deep connection” to the state.
“After a crazy and emotionally taxing week,” says the source, “Meghan feels the need to get out of the media bubble and remind herself of the people she represents on TV every day.”
On her schedule? Fishing and relaxing.
After Sen. McCain died, Meghan, 35, began regularly posting about her heartache. She has since spoken out about “destigmatizing grief” and her mission to help others “grappling with the immense pain and trauma losing a loved one.”
“I continue to believe the more open, honest and transparent conversations we have about the albatross that is grief and our cultures reticence to address it, the better off we all will be,” she wrote on Instagram ahead of an October community event. “Dealing with my own grief I have been shocked at the lack of resources and conversation we readily have as Americans.”
Meghan is expected to fly out of New York immediately after taping Friday’s View episode, which will see the departure of fellow panelist and friend Abby Huntsman, who will join her dad’s campaign for governor.
As the Meghan source noted, in recent days she has contended with a fresh wave of reports about feuding on The View.
Meghan was also absent from taping on Jan. 9, which some speculated was linked to alleged conflicts behind the scenes.
Not so, a source close to the show told PEOPLE last week: Despite any past tension, her absence was due to “family reasons.”
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Among the latest reports of problems were sources speaking to CNN and elsewhere who said Meghan’s bond with Huntsman, 33, had soured after a tiff because Meghan believed Huntsman was talking about her kids too much.
“I find it hard to believe that CNN would cover a story about men this way,” Meghan said in a statement earlier this week. “Abby has been my friend for years and will always be my friend. I love her and her family very much.”
As Huntsman announced she would be leaving The View, Meghan offered her support on-air.
“You are such a bright light in everyone’s life,” she said on Monday’s show. “You always see the good in everything. You’ve been a friend forever. I’m heartbroken you’re leaving, but I can understand better than anybody how important it is to go support your dad. They are special moments. The best of my life was with my dad doing the same thing. I totally get it.”