Just moments before Barbara Bush passed away, her husband George HW Bush was by her side. “He held her hand all day today and was at her side when [she] left this good earth."
A new book by former first lady Barbara Bush, published posthumously, gives us insight into her special relationship with late husband George H.W. Bush. In the book, Pearls of Wisdom: Little Pieces of Advice (That Go a Long Way), released Tuesday, their son Jeb Bush, 67, recalled an interaction between his parents shortly before his mother’s death in April 2018. This interaction is said to have brought even the hospital staff to tears, according to People. The two of them loved each other and just couldn't bear to be apart. “The last time my mom went into the hospital, I think Dad got sick on purpose so he could be with her. That’s my theory, at least, because literally a day later he showed up with an illness,” writes Jeb in the book.
“He came into her room while she was sleeping and held her hand. His hair was standing straight up, and he was wearing a hospital gown. In other words, he looked like hell!” Jeb, 67, continues: “Mom opened her eyes and said, ‘My God, George, you are devastatingly handsome.’ Every nurse, doctor, staffer had to run to the hallway because they all started crying.” The book is a collection of stories and advice from Bush's friends and family. Barbara, also a literacy advocate, had been suffering from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for a long time. Barbara was hospitalized several times before she finally decided to stop her treatments. She just did not want to spend any more time in the hospital than she had to.
She died on 17th April 2018. Around eight months after her death, on 30th November 2018, George H.W. Bush had also passed away. “Every day of his 73 years of marriage, Dad taught us all what it means to be a great husband. … He was dedicated to her totally,” former President George W. Bush said during his father’s funeral on Dec. 5, 2018. Bush went on to add, “Through our tears, let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man. … And in our grief, let us know that dad is hugging Robin and holding mom’s hand again.” Pauline Robinson Bush, fondly known as Robin, died of Leukemia when she was a child. She was their second child.
Barbara Bush was quite dedicated to her family and it's very evident from the various tales that have been shared in Pearls of Wisdom. In the book, her granddaughter Lauren Bush writes that one lesson her “Ganny” taught her was to “be loyal.” “My Ganny was loyal to my grandfather until the end. As they both got older, she would often say that she wanted to live one day longer than our Gampy,” writes Lauren. “She wanted to be there for him, and when he was gone, she would be ready to go.” Even though Barbara Bush did not get to fulfill her wish, the love of her life was with her, right by her side, when she died at 92.
When it was time for Barbara to bid farewell to this world, her husband did not move from her side. “He held her hand all day today and was at her side when [she] left this good earth,” a spokeswoman said in a statement at the time. Barbara's death left her husband heartbroken, but he and his kids took comfort in the fact that they'd meet again in heaven because that's something Barbara believed in. “She truly believes there’s an afterlife, that she’ll be wonderfully received in the arms of a loving God,” George said, shortly after his mother’s passing. “And therefore did not fear death. And as a result of her soul being comforted on the deathbed, my soul is comforted.”