She was there by his side throughout his life, so George H.W. Bush was there beside his beloved at the end of hers.
The former president of the United States, 93, is “broken-hearted” over the loss of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush. His long-time chief of staff Jean Becker sent out a statement on Tuesday night following Barbara’s death.
“So many of you are asking, “How is 41?” He, of course, is broken-hearted to lose his beloved Barbara, his wife of 73 years,” Becker wrote. “He held her hand all day today and was at her side when [she] left this good earth.”
He continued, “Obviously, this is a very challenging time. But it will not surprise all of you who know and love him, that he also is being stoic and strong, and is being lifted up by his large and supportive family. He is determined to be there for them as well. He appreciates all the well wishes and support.”
Her death was announced by her husband’s office on Tuesday in a statement saying, “A former First Lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at the age of 92.”
“She is survived by her husband of 73 years, President George H. W. Bush; five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; and her brother Scott Pierce. She was preceded in death by her second child, Pauline “Robin” Bush, and her siblings Martha Rafferty and James R. Pierce.”
Among those who remembered her was granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager, who shared a series of photos on the Bush family matriarch on Instagram.
“I already miss this FORCE of a woman— the “enforcer” because she was the glue that held our family together,” Bush Hager wrote in the caption. “She taught me to use my voice but also to value the opinions of others. She adored her friends and family; her loyalty was unwavering.”
She continued, “Humor helps, she often said and it does, Gans, but I will miss your laugh terribly. She adored my Gampy, the first man she ever kissed; their love story is so ingrained in the history of our family. Thinking of my Gampy tonight —no doubt missing his beloved desperately. Gans, people stopped me all the time to tell me how much they loved you. I didn’t mind sharing you with them. I love you more than tongue can tell, my Ganny.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Bush Hager also shared a sweet post about her grandmother, writing, “Couldn’t love this woman more. Our world, particularly my families is so much better because she’s in it.”
Her father, former president George W. Bush, shared a photo of his parents on Instagram holding hands and leaning on each other.
“My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was,” he wrote in the caption. “Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”
Former White House photographer for President Barack Obama, Pete Souza,shared a black and white photo of Bush’s hands clasped in her husband’s on Instagram writing, “RIP former First Lady Barbara Bush, shown here holding hands with her husband of 73 years, former President George H.W. Bush, last year at a benefit concert in Texas for hurricane victims.”
Her death came after the former first lady announced that she would no longer continue medical treatment after a series of hospitalizations in the last few years.
“Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care,” the statement read.
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It continued, “It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others. She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”
Bush had a lung disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure, according to numerous reports.