By Jessica Sager
Published December 05, 2018
Barbara Pierce Bush believes her grandfather, George H.W. Bush, wanted to pass away before Christmas.
The 41st president of the United States died at age 94 on Nov. 30.
"He'd never spent a Christmas without my grandmother," Barbara, 37, told People. "He was ready to be with her again. He never said it, but my thought is that he wanted to be with her for the holiday."
First lady Barbara Bush died in April at age 92.
H.W. Bush was hospitalized the next day.
Barbara Pierce Bush says that after his hospitalization this summer, H.W. Bush didn't want any more medical attention and simply wanted to be with his family at their home in Kennebunkport, Maine, before returning to his Houston, Texas, home in mid-October.
"There was never a moment when there wasn't a family member with him," she said. "He wanted to be in the game, still. He wanted to be included."
Barbara Pierce Bush said that the family all had planned visits with H.W. so he'd always have company throughout the holidays, "but the majority of us didn't make it."
She told People that she would read to H.W. Bush in his final days when they were together — and that his favorite stories were the ones she read to him about him and her grandmother.
"I read him different books on geopolitics, the CIA or things of his interest. And then, luckily, my cousin Ellie LeBlond Sosa had written a book about my grandparents' love story — it was brand new — and that's what I ended up reading to him the most," she said. "He loved it. It was most certainly a walk down memory lane and it contained many of the love letters that he had written to my grandmother, and then also many of the letters from when he was younger that he had written to his mom about my grandmother before they were married."
"We had plenty of moments talking about my grandmother," she continued. "I remember I asked him if his heart was broken and he said yes. But I think he also knew that he would see her soon. I don't think that it seemed far off to him."