John McCain’s Widow Cindy Says Her ‘Heart Is Broken’ After His Death, More Stars Pay Tribute

In mourning. John McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, is grieving his loss after the U.S. Senator died at the age of 81 on Saturday, August 25, in his Arizona home following a battle with cancer.

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John McCain speaks at the Xcel Center in Saint Paul, MN on the final night of the Republican National Convention on September 5, 2008. Getty Images

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The widow gave a public statement via Twitter that day expressing her gratitude for the time she was able to share with her husband: “My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”

The naval academy vet was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in July 2017. Five months later, he was hospitalized for side effects related to his treatment.

His family announced on Friday, August 24, that after more than a year of treatment, McCain would be discontinuing his medical plan: “John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict. With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment.”

Shortly after news of his death, the senator’s daughter and The View cohost, Meghan McCain, paid tribute to her late father, penning a lengthy statement about the man he was outside of the public eye: “In the thirty-three years we shared together, he raised me, taught me, corrected me, comforted me, encouraged me, and supported me in all things. He loved me, and I loved him. He taught me how to live. His love and his care, ever present, always unfailing, took me from a girl to a woman — and he showed me what it is to be a man.”

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Political figures, including Michelle Obama, President Donald Trump, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, were among those who paid their respects to McCain.

Also remembering the late senator was former president Barack Obama, who McCain reportedly requested, along with George W. Bush, to have speak at his upcoming funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral. “We shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed,” Barack wrote in a statement. “We saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world. We saw this country as a place where anything is possible — and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.”

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Those outside of the political realm were also moved by his passing.

Meghan’s The View cohost Whoopi Goldberg gave tribute to not only McCain, but “his daughter & her friend” Meghan, to whom she sent “much love.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who penned a piece for the website Medium giving thanks to McCain for his military service ahead of his passing, willed Americans to carry on his work in his absence, writing on Twitter on Saturday, “Each of us must strive for his dignity, his service, his commitment to country. He showed us the way.”

Ellen DeGeneres posted a photo with the politician, calling it a “sad day for the country” and noting that McCain “always stood up for what he believed was right.”

Tim McGraw acknowledged the author as an “American hero and patriot” while Reese Witherspoon gave “respect to this American citizen who so proudly served our country for so many years.”

Perhaps most touching of all, however, were the words actress Sophia Bush shared from McCain’s book, The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations, which moved her to tears: “The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it … I hate to leave it. But I don’t have a complaint. Not one. It’s been quite a ride. I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make a peace. I’ve lived very well and I’ve been deprived of all comforts. I’ve been as lonely as a person can be and I‘ve enjoyed the company of heroes. I’ve suffered the deepest despair and experienced the highest exultation. I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times… The bell tolls for me. I knew it would. So I tried, as best I could, to stay a ‘part of the main.’ I hope those who mourn my passing, and even those who don’t, will celebrate as I celebrate a happy life lived in imperfect service to a country made of ideals, whose continued service is the hope of the world. And I wish all of you great adventures, good company, and lives as lucky as mine.”

“Let his life and legacy be a reminder that many of us have differing opinions, different points of view, but at the end of the day we must support one another and work together … I learned from this man. And I’m so sad to hear of his passing.”

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