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People: Cindy McCain on Learning to Live with a Broken Heart after the Death of Her Husband John

Jené Liebenberg
May 04, 2021
03:10 A.M.
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Senator John McCain passed away in August 2018 after battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, leaving his wife, Cindy McCain as a widow navigating life without her husband. 


Cindy McCain has been learning to live without her better half, Senator John McCain, for the last three years and has decided to put pen to paper and document her journey in the form of a memoir. 

Life without her husband hasn't been easy for Cindy, but she has strived to make the best of life without him. Writing a book has helped Cindy make sense of where she is and where she is going, even if it has to be without her husband. 

Sen. John McCain and Cindy McCain exit the Mountain View Christian Church polling place after casting their vote on November 8, 2016 | Getty Images



As the matriarch of one of the USA's leading political families, Cindy is no stranger to standing strong in the face of adversity but facing the death of her husband required a different type of strength. 

In her memoir, Cindy penned her experience with grief in the wake of John's death following his long and intense battle with brain cancer. She took a vulnerable approach writing

"John had occupied such a huge space in my life that I would never stop missing him. All I could do was learn to live with the heartbreak of loss."



The senator's widow is now making the best of life, using the COVID-19 pandemic to sit down and reflect on the journey with John that led to where she is at present. 

The politician's daughter, Megan McCain also embarked on the journey of becoming a mother.

The memoir includes a look at the couple's first encounter in Hawaii in 1979 that eventually progressed into a life of tackling American politics side-by-side and everything in between. 



Despite the weight of grief and mourning that ensued after losing John in 2018, his family, friends, and colleagues gathered for a celebration a year after his death upon his request. 

The party marked not only 365 days of doing life without their family's patriarch but also allowed them to appreciate the time they did have with John. Cindy shared

"Neither did he want us to mark the anniversary of his passing with solemn commemorations and tears, but to celebrate the life we shared with him."



Life goes on for the rest of the McCain family that was left behind. John's widow invested her time and energy into humanitarian work that resulted in the adoption of her daughter  Bridget from Bangladesh. 

The politician's daughter, Megan McCain, also embarked on the journey of becoming a mother. She welcomed her first child into the world with her husband, Ben Domenech, in September 2020. 


Cindy previously noted that her children and grandchildren were a great source of motivation to keep going in the difficult days. After being married to John for 40 years, life without him was no easy feat. 

Cindy also took on the position of chairman of the McCain Institute’s Board of Trustees, where she works to further her late husband's legacy.  There seems to be no stopping Cindy as she takes the challenges of life head-on.