Meghan McCain is remembering her late father Senator John McCain on his “favorite holiday” of Thanksgiving.
On Thursday, The View co-host took to Instagram to process her grief on her first Thanksgiving without her father, penning a touching tribute to him alongside a gallery of images of the late politician preparing a turkey in a vat, smiling as he stood in front of the family’s feast, and relaxing on the deck reading a newspaper.
“Today is your favorite holiday. Happy Thanksgiving Dad, wherever you are,” McCain captioned the photos, a small tribute to her father, who passed away in August at the age of 81 from an aggressive form of brain cancer.
“I miss you terribly,” she continued. “And to everyone else who this holiday is hard for – you are not alone, I am thinking of all of you.”
The Vietnam War veteran spent his final Thanksgiving in 2017, just days after his daughter tied the knot with Ben Domenech, heading the feast as a military “operation.”
“It’s about a four- or five-hour operation,” he told PEOPLE at the time, adding that “one of the important parts is to marinate the turkey at least a day ahead of time.”
“He was handing out orders quite well. He wanted it done a certain way, and so we had all the boys [helping],” his wife, Cindy McCain, said, noting that preparations for the feast started the day before. “Wednesday morning we were busy marinating and getting everything going. The kids were all getting up late, because they stayed up late. So as soon as they showed up we were like, ‘We have to get to the turkeys!’”
On Thanksgiving Day in 2016, the late Senator shared a behind-the-scenes Facebook photo of himself in the midst of the Thanksgiving feast preparations, wearing oven mitts and holding a turkey over a deep fryer.
“It’s not #Thanksgiving at our family’s house without fried turkey!” he captioned the photo. “Happy Thanksgiving to all!”0comments
Since her father’s passing, Meghan McCain hasn’t been shy when it comes to opening up about the extent of her sorrow and the slow process of healing. Just days ago, she marked 84 days since his death with a message about her time spent with her father and how life has changed without him.
“The pain of missing you and the grief that comes with it continues to be sharp and primal,” she wrote. “Some waves are more intense than others but they come every day relentlessly. Stay with me. Stay with me. Stay with me.”