Meghan McCain Returns to Arizona and Recreates One of Her last Photos with Her Dad

"512 days," The View co-host wrote of the touching image, highlighting how long it had been since Sen. John McCain's death

Meghan McCain returned home to Arizona over the weekend for the first time since her father died in August 2018 and recreated a photo she once took with the late Sen. John McCain.

The View co-host told PEOPLE last week that she was “really looking forward to having some much needed family time” and recreational activities while back home.

Meghan has been open about the difficulty of coping with loss. On social media, the conservative political analyst often posts grieving messages about the loss of her father, counts the days since he passed, and shares photos of Sen. McCain — oftentimes with the two of them together.

On Sunday, Meghan shared a new photo that recreates a moment when the two looked out over the hillside in Cornville, Arizona, which the former 2008 Republican presidential nominee called home.

“512 days,” the caption read, highlighting how long it had been since Sen. McCain’s death on Aug. 25, 2018.

The old photo shows Meghan sitting on a bench alongside her father, while the new image features Meghan sitting alone and looking out over the same hillside with the American flag next to her.

Sen. McCain, his father, and his grandfather all served in the Navy, and the late politician was held as a prisoner of war for five and a half years during the Vietnam War.

Meghan McCain
Meghan McCain/ Instagram
Meghan McCain
A photo of Meghan McCain and Sen. John McCain sitting together and looking out over an Arizona hillside. Meghan McCain/ Instagram

Meghan often shares pictures of her father on holidays or during other big moments in her life — partly in an effort to help others deal with their own grief.

“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,” Meghan said on Instagram in October. “Dealing with my own grief I have been shocked at the lack of resources and conversation we readily have as Americans.”

She has pointed out that she can lead by example as a public figure and show others that it’s okay to speak out about their sadness.

“There are many of us who are in grief … But it makes me feel less alone and hopefully others less alone to share the grief process that is still so taboo to some,” Meghan wrote on Twitter last October.

A source told PEOPLE last week that Meghan “knows how difficult the visit will be,” but added that “everyone is aware of her deep connection to Arizona.”

Meghan posted photos on Instagram and Twitter of the red rock mountains in Sedona while she visited her home state, where she felt enamored with “that Arizona sky.”

“I felt like a nuclear bomb went off in my life,” Meghan told PEOPLE after her father was diagnosed with cancer.

“To anyone else in my place or those who are not — I wish we wouldn’t put time limits or rules on grief, we all do it differently in different ways,” Meghan said back in November 2018 after her father died. “I shared my father on social media while he was here (and he loved it) and I choose to continue sharing him now that he is not.”

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