Former United States vice president Joe Biden spoke at the late John McCain's private memorial service on Thursday, where he shed tears while remembering his close friendship with the beloved Arizona senator.
McCain died on Saturday after a battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 81 years old.
Biden said that despite being a Democrat and McCain being a Republican, he thought of the fellow politician as a "brother." The two met in the '70s, and Biden said the two hit it off immediately.
"I always thought of John as a brother, with a hell of a lot of family fights," he quipped. "... Out of this grew a great friendship that transcended whatever political differences we had, or later developed, because, above all, we understood the same thing -- all politics is personal. It's all about trust. I trusted John with my life, and I think he would trust me with his."
Biden also talked about the pain of cancer, seeing as he lost his own son Beau to brain cancer in May 2015. Beau was 46 years old and is survived by his wife, Hallie, and two kids. Interestingly enough, Hallie is now dating Biden's 48-year-old son, Hunter, her former brother-in-law.
"There are times when life can be so cruel, pain so blinding it's hard to see anything else," Biden reflected. "It's brutal, it's relentless, it's unforgiving. It takes so much from those we love and from the families that love them, that in order to survive, we have to remember how they lived, not how they died."
But he had a message for those grieving McCain's death.
"I hope you take some comfort that because you shared John with all of us your whole life, the world now shares with you the ache of John's death," he noted. "You know you're going to make it when the image of your dad, your husband, your friend crosses your mind and a smile comes to your lip before a tear to your eye. I promise you, I give you my word, I promise you, this I know, that day will come."
Later, 75-year-old Biden talked about McCain's incredible legacy.
"John's story is the American story, that's not hyperbole," he said. "It's the American story. Grounded in respect and decency, basic fairness. The intolerance for the abuse of power. John understood America was first and foremost an idea. Audacious and risky. Organized around ideals."
"He made average Americans proud," he added. "Even though John is not with us, he left us pretty clear instructions: 'Believe always in the promise and greatness in America because nothing is inevitable here.'"
Family, friends and political leaders remembered McCain at his Arizona memorial service on Thursday, which followed Wednesday's ceremony at the Arizona State Capitol.
Last week, McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, paid a heartbreaking tribute to him. Watch below:
Honoring John McCain: Joe Biden, Arizona Lawmakers Speak at Phoenix Memorial Service
John McCain Lies in State at Arizona Capitol
John McCain, Former U.S. Senator, Dead at 81