For most people, a birthday is a joyous occasion. And while in some ways it is for her too, turning 35 on Oct. 23 meant Meghan McCain was entering her second year without her father, Sen. John McCain — and, yes, she’s still grieving the loss. Meghan is intentionally open and raw with her feelings about her father in the hope that she can help others feel less alone in their grief and more comfortable bringing it out into the light.
Meghan’s willingness to be vulnerable about her father began back in 2017 when the senator was originally diagnosed with brain cancer. Throughout his (and the family’s) journey, she relayed her thoughts on social media. As Meghan previously told People, “I felt like a nuclear bomb went off in my life. I was a mess. I was barely functioning.”
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Since her father passed away in August of last year, Meghan has continued to speak out about her struggle with the emotional fallout. On Oct. 20, just a few days shy of her 35th birthday, Meghan tweeted, “I’ve actually never heard it described more accurately but Prince Harry is absolutely and utterly right — grief is a wound that festers. I applaud his openness and vulnerability on the loss of his magnificent mother. There should be more conversations on grief, not less.”
Ten days later, on Oct. 30, she spoke at the Good Shepherd Community Care Institute dinner in Boston about destigmatizing grief and death.
Speaking to a crowd that included many hospice and palliative care workers, Meghan said, “I don’t know how you do it every day. My dad dying was the worst day of my life, and I couldn’t imagine doing it any more than when you have to… I was in the bowels of the internet trying to figure out what it was going to look like when he died.” Meghan added of the cloak-and-dagger way death is discussed, “I just wish we would treat it the way we treat birth: as a celebration of life.”
The View co-host also noted that loss is an equalizer. “Grief is a universal experience,” she said, noting that it doesn’t make exceptions based on any political party lines or values. She tweeted just ahead of her speech, “Destigmatizing death is one of the most important conversations we can have as humans and I want to continue to use my platform to do so and hopefully help others.”
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