Both lost their fathers to glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, within months of each other
“We have a very unique and dark connection,” Meghan says in PEOPLE’s exclusive sneak peak at Friday’s episode of The View, in which she and the Bohemian Rhapsody star discuss what it was like to lose their fathers to the same form of brain cancer. Mazzello’s father died in May, while John McCain died in August.
“It was really soon before my dad died,” Meghan, 33, said, choking up. After a brief pause she apologized to the audience, sharing that “every time I think I’ve stopped crying about this, I just keep crying.”
“That really gave me comfort, and I think it was so beautiful. You talked about how it was a privilege to take care of our fathers in that state, and I just want to thank you,” she said.
“Boy, well first of all, I’m so glad that I brought you some comfort, but you brought me comfort,” said Mazzello, who plays Queen bass guitarist John Deacon.
He explained that after Meghan talked about his letter on the show, thousands of people reached out to him online. “That brought me so much comfort because there was such a sense of community there,” he said, adding that caring for a loved one with a terminal illness can be “so lonely, as of course you know.”
The actor said his advice for anybody who finds themselves in a similar situation is to make the most of the time you have — no matter how tough it gets.
“Don’t take a day for granted, even if it’s difficult. Even if you feel like you just can’t go on or you just can’t take seeing somebody you love so much go through that, just keep caring for them and make every moment last,” he said.
Mazzello also shared that he was able to FaceTime with his father every night while filming Bohemian Rhapsody, which gave his dad “something to be hopeful” and excited about.
“You really lean on your friends and your family and know that you’ll get through it together,” he concluded, adding that so long as you give your ailing family member all the love you have, “you just won’t have any regrets.”
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Earlier this month, Meghan posted a picture of her father’s tombstone at the United States Naval Academy. Flowers, coins and American flags are left in tribute to the Republican politician and war hero, who died at age 81.
Meghan captioned the photograph, “I miss you the most on Sunday.”
The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on ABC.