Following a week mourning the loss of her grandfather, Jenna Bush Hager returned to TODAY on Monday to share her appreciation for the overwhelming outpour of support her family received, as well as one of the key lessons her grandfather lived by.
Former President George H.W. Bush passed away on Nov. 30, at age 94, and received “a proper sendoff” from his loved ones, as well as the nation he served, Jenna told her TODAY colleagues.
While she said she was still "in pain," Jenna added that she and her family felt "so surrounded with love."
"And I just thought about other people that lost people they loved this season, right before Christmas, who don’t get this, and then life goes on. But for us, we felt it,” Jenna said. “He would have been embarrassed, I think, by how public it was, and by how much we talked about him.”
Thousands of people lined the streets to pay respect to her grandpa and her family as they took one final trip together by train to College Station, Texas, where Bush was buried at his presidential library.
The TODAY correspondent also talked about the lasting impact her grandfather has on her life, giving one particular example her grandfather he set that came especially in handy last week.
“He had these lessons that he lived by and one of them was, don’t be afraid to cry. That was the way we were raised,” she said, pointing out something TODAY viewers probably already know about her by now.
"I cry at the drop of a hat," she said. "But I think it’s okay to show pain, when you’re feeling pain, and joy when you’re also feeling joy."
That was certainly on display when Jenna’s father delivered his eulogy at the memorial service held at National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Former President George W. Bush made it to the very end before he briefly choked up in tears.
Dylan Dryer told Jenna that the moment broke her heart because “so many of us could relate to you on that level.”
Jenna said her father ended up joking about the moment.
“He was so hilarious, he was like, I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to cry. And then afterwards he was, like, ‘I made it to the two-yard line,’” she said.