George H.W. Bush Died Because 'He Was Ready to be With' Wife Barbara Bush, Says Granddaughter

George H.W. Bush had never spent a Christmas without his wife of 74 years, Barbara Bush. It's because of this—and the rapidly arriving holiday season—that the former president died, according to his granddaughter and the late Barbara Bush's namesake, Barbara Pierce Bush.

The twin granddaughter of the 41st president opened up on George H.W. Bush's death in an interview with People released Wednesday. She explained her grandfather hadn't been apart from his wife during the holidays since he returned from World War II on Christmas Eve in 1944. "He'd never spent a Christmas without my grandmother," Barbara Pierce Bush said.

"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," she continued.

The former first lady died in April at the age of 92. Her husband was 94 years old when he passed away on Friday.

Just a few weeks after Barbara Bush's death, George H.W. Bush was hospitalized due to an infection. However, he returned home from Houston Methodist Hospital just 11 days after being admitted.

Despite numerous ongoing health concerns, the former Navy pilot resisted returning to the hospital and instead decided to go home to Maine. "After my grandmother died, he made it clear that he wanted to go to Maine. He did not want to be in a hospital," Barbara Pierce Bush said.

Others who were close to George H.W. Bush also believed heartbreak over his wife's death to be the cause of his own passing. Former White House photographer David Valdez, who served under George H.W. Bush's administration from 1989 to 1993, said he had a feeling the politician would likely die shortly after his wife.

"A couple of days after Mrs. Bush passed away, he went to the hospital and we thought, you know, he's just dying of a broken heart," Valdez said in an interview with ABC's Start Here Podcast, released Sunday. "And I think these seven or eight months later, there's some of that there. They were so in love."

George H.W. Bush's funeral was held on Monday. The former commander in chief was survived by five children, including 43rd President George W. Bush—Barbara Pierce Bush's father—17 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and a host of in-laws.

George H.W. Bush Died Because 'He Was Ready to be With' Wife Barbara Bush, Says Granddaughter | Culture