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Bush granddaughters reflect on former president's final moments

Marshall Bush and Ashley Bush said they celebrated their grandfather's life and felt his love "until the very, very end."
/ Source: TODAY

Two of George H.W. Bush’s granddaughters shared the final moments they spent with the late president, saying that while they grieve his loss, they also feel immense joy “celebrating his life.”

Marshall Bush, the daughter of Marvin Bush, the former president's youngest son, was with her grandfather when he passed away Friday surrounded by loved ones.

“It was incredibly peaceful and sweet — beyond sweet. A bunch of our family and best family friends were there and everyone was touching him and holding him,” she told TODAY. “We just wanted to make sure that he knew that we loved him as much as he loved us. And making sure he wasn’t alone and he was comforted. It was just beautiful. It really was beautiful.”

Her cousin, Ashley Bush, the 29-year-old daughter of Neil Bush, Marvin Bush's older brother, last saw her grandfather at Thanksgiving, when she spent the holiday “holding his hand and singing hymns” with him at the dinner table.

“I think my most recent memories are really just cuddling up in bed next to him and feeling his love till the very, very end,” she said.

Ashley Bush said the family is grateful that her grandfather got to enjoy “a really long and wonderful life.”

“But there are moments when I get choked up, or we get choked up talking about a memory,” she said. “It’s still difficult to grieve, but we’re celebrating his life this week.”

The cousins said they are both comforted by the idea that their grandfather has been reunited with his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, who passed away in April. The former president also lost his daughter, Robin, to leukemia just shy of her fourth birthday.

“I know he’s back with our grandmother and with our Aunt Robin so I’m happy he’s happy,” Marshall Bush said.

Marshall Bush said she loves the idea that her grandfather can finally shower some of the love she has felt her entire life on the daughter he lost.

“His favorite thing to do was be with family and to hug and make sure that you knew how much he loved you, so I think we’re just very happy that she now gets to experience that, which she did not for a very long time," she said. "She was only 4 when she passed away and she now gets to experience what we all got to experience for 94 years."