Barbara Bush Opens Up on Decision to Marry Quickly So Her Grandfather Could Attend

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If you’ve ever lost a close family member or friend, you know that while the initial grieving process is hard, it can be even harder when you realize they will no longer be able to take part in your major life events; weddings, births, celebrations, and even the hard times.

When Barbara Bush’s grandmother and namesake, former first lady Barbara Bush, passed away in April following complications from pulmonary disease, it came as a shock to the entire family.

“We weren’t expecting that,” Barbara told People of her grandmother’s death. Barbara, 36, married her love Craig Coyne on Sunday, October 7— but he never got to meet the former first lady.

“Craig didn’t get to meet my grandmother. I thought there would be plenty of time for that to happen.”

Four months following her grandmother’s passing, Barbara decided to get married quickly so that her 94-year-old grandfather would be able to experience her big day.

“We actually would have gotten married the next week if we could have,” says Barbara. “We just thought, let’s try to do it soon. We knew we wanted to be married — we’d already made that decision — so we didn’t need months of an engagement.”

According to Barbara, she and her fiance spent the summer with George H.W. in Maine following his wife’s death.

“It was just us three — quiet and beautiful. I would read to him. While he napped, Craig and I would go on walks, then dress my grandfather up and take him out for martinis and oysters.”

As for her big day, Barbara found it was only important to have her close family by her side— and as long as her grandfather was there, she would be as happy as can be.

“He’s great — totally with it. He is, of course, 94 years old and misses my grandmother. … We just thought, let’s try to do [the wedding] soon — a small wedding with just our family and my grandfather.”

“That’s the one thing about waiting,” Barbara said. “You can have this great career and this great life. But, of course, the older you get, you lose people that you love.”

 

Colleen Matthews
Raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Colleen grew up cheering on the Razorbacks, fishing with her dad, learning about southern hospitality from her mom, and enjoying the best of The Ozarks. When she's not writing, she's likely spoiling her black lab, playing pranks on her husband, chasing around her nieces and nephews, or rearranging her house.

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