TODAY show reporter Jenna Bush Hager shared touching words of her grandfather George H.W. Bush, who passed away Friday at 94.
George H.W. Bush, or “Gampy” as he was called by his grandchildren, was adored by his family and loved ones and was famous for writing letters, especially the love letters he sent Barbara, his wife of 73 years.
“Waking up missing this giant of a man who gave me everything,” wrote Jenna Bush Hager in her first Instagram post after her grandfather’s death. “He taught me and my family about service, family, decency, the power of gentle words and a beautiful heart. I will miss him desperately but so happy he and my grandmother are back together.”
She then shared a cartoon of her grandfather reuniting with his wife Barbara, who passed away earlier this year, and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at just three years old.
“This brought me such comfort this morning,” wrote Bush Hager in the post. “I had the opportunity to talk with my grandpa about the afterlife. This is what he said: He answered without any hesitation. ‘Yes, I think about it. I used to be afraid. I used to be scared of dying. I used to worry about death. But now in some ways, I look forward to it.’ And I started crying.”
“I managed to choke out, ‘Well, why? What do you look forward to?’ And he said, “Well, when I die, I’m going to be reunited with these people I’ve lost.’”
“And I asked who he hoped to see. He replied, “I hope I see Robin, and I hope to see my mom. I haven’t yet figured it out if it will be Robin as the three-year-old that she was, this kind of chubby, vivacious child or if she’ll come as a middle-aged woman, an older woman.’ And then he said, “I hope she’s the three-year-old.”
“Robin was the daughter of this giant of a man lost years before to leukemia. The little girl he held tightly: who spoke the phrase I have heard Gampy repeat for my entire life, forever knitting Robin’s voice into the tightly woven fabric of our family: ‘I love you more than tongue can tell.’”
She then shared an album of memorable photos of her “Gampy.”
“What a gift that my girls got to know our Gampy,” she wrote. “What an honor that we could name our Poppy after such a principled, humble, kind man who we all loved fiercely and who loved us back. I read this letter–he wrote us–with new eyes: ‘Remember the old song? I ’ll be there, ready when you are? Well, I’ll be there, ready when you are. And if you need me, I’m here. Devotedly, Dad.’”
Watch her read her farewell letter to George H.W Bush in the video below: