Cindy McCain gives us insight on her last moments with her husband, Senator John McCain, in a new essay for Today‘s Voices series, People is reporting. Sen. McCain passed away on August 25, at the age of 81, after battling brain cancer. He and Cindy were married for 38 years, and Cindy said her husband’s death “came swiftly.”
“[It was] as if he had taken the final measure of his situation and resolved to embrace it, give thanks and leap into the hereafter,” she wrote.
Cindy recalls Sen. McCain passing away surrounded by loved ones as Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played in the background. Sen. McCain loved music, and his favorite song was “Danny Boy,” which was performed at his funeral along with “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Cindy joked in her essay that she “could’ve sworn” she heard Sen. McCain say during the powerful performances that it was taking “too damn long.” Now, Cindy is living life without her spouse, which she describes as “not an easy adjustment.” She plans to focus on their children, however, and continuing Sen. McCain’s legacy by “fighting human trafficking, chairing the McCain Institute board, speaking out for the persecuted and threatened.”
McCain announced his cancer diagnosis last year. Many remember him as not just a politician, but also a war hero. He was a prisoner of war for five years. He also made headlines in his last years by speaking in opposition to President Donald Trump. In a letter he wrote to America prior to his passing, he took subtle jabs at Trump — and assured Americans to remain strong despite “present difficulties.” He went on to thank his family, and looked back on his lengthy career. McCain’s close friend Rick Davis, a Republican political consultant, read the letter aloud after his death. McCain ended his message with a “farewell” and a “God bless.”
Sen. McCain was often regarded as a “maverick,” and a new campaign fighting for human rights was started in his honor after his death. The campaign is called “Mavericks Needed.” Cindy says she plans to continue fighting for her husband’s ideals, and recalled that while his last year was filled with goodbyes, it was also filled with “highs” as Sen. McCain insisted on maintaining his humor throughout the ordeal. Cindy now says that she is determined to work hard in her husband’s absence.
“Admittedly, after 38 years of marriage to the force of nature that was John McCain, living without him is not an easy adjustment,” she wrote. “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.'”