John McCain's wife Cindy shares their intimate last moments in a candid essay

Jaimie-lee Prince
Dec 13, 2018
07:18 P.M.
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Cindy McCain shared a touching essay about her husband just before he passed away. She spoke words of mourning and hope.


Former senator and presidential candidate John McCain died on August 25 at the age of 81 in Cornville, Arizona. He suffered from brain cancer a year until his death.

Since then, his family has shared their grief over his passing. In TODAY's Voice series, Cindy also shared intimate moments describing John's last moments.

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The 64-year-old said that "when the end came, it came swiftly, as if he had taken the final measure of his situation and resolved to embrace it, give thanks and leap into the hereafter, like the daring aviator he had once been and the brave soul he had remained."

John, who worked in the Navy as a pilot, was diagnosed as having a malignant brain tumor called a glioblastoma. His wife said the last two months, "saw a steady decline" in his health.


However, John, who "always drew a crowd," was surrounded by his family and friends throughout his ordeal. They were also there when he took his last breath.

Cindy wrote:

"He faced the creek he loved. A black hawk swooped low overhead and settled on the brance of a cottonwood to keep watch. Sinatra on his playlist, singing 'My Way.' Goodbye."


Following his death, Cindy attended memorials that would contain the "messages and music, the friends and ceremony he had requested."

She revealed:

"He had wanted it to be a celebration of his life’s cause, his beloved country, as much as it was a tribute to his memory. He wanted to part with America on terms that would inspire us to keep the faith, to fight for our ideals."


Cindy joked about the Cathedral memorial service, saying she could hear John complaining that it was too long. She then mentioned the more personal service the day after.

She wrote:

"Our final parting the next day was more personal, a naval officer’s, a husband’s and father’s farewell on the banks of the Severn River in Maryland."

Finally, Cindy reflected on the ongoing projects she is inspired to continue thanks to her husband's motivation. She admitted that "living without him is not an easy adjustment. But adjust we will."


He left us our instructions, and every day I can still hear him insist, "Don't slack off. You know what to do."

The wife of the beloved senator says that she "wouldn't know what else to do" after her 32 years of marriage and seeing her husband's glowing example of civil servitude.

Back in November, Meghan McCain remembered her father for Thanksgiving. The "View" co-host divulged that the holiday was John's favorite of the year.

She shared an Instagram post with a slew of images showing John celebrating Thanksgiving in past years.


In a tributary caption she wrote:

“Today is your favorite holiday. Happy Thanksgiving Dad, wherever you are. I miss you terribly. And to everyone else who this holiday is hard for – you are not alone, I am thinking of all of you.”

And in early November, wife Cindy also took to Instagram to share a photo of herself smiling toothily next to John. The caption simply read: "@meghanmccain sent this to me. I just love it."