Barbara Bush in 1991A diarist since her 20s, Bush wrote her last entry on April 5, 2018: “I’ve been in the hospital for forever and seem to not be getting any better, at least my breathing is not. Dr. Menderes [Amy Mynderse] came in and had a very sweet talk with me. As she rubbed my arm, she told me the most ghastly thing: She told me the next time I go home I will have hospice. I said, doesn’t that mean I am dying? She said yes. It was like being hit in the solarplex. I asked her to keep it a secret.”
While hospitalized, Bush began writing her final letter for her family. Page, with whom Bush had shared her decades of diaries, wrote that she believes she was “apparently the first person to read the letter.”
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“Her son Neil told me her children weren’t aware that the letter existed until I raised it with them,” Page wrote.
Still, its contents were not a surprise.
As she famously remarked in a June 1990 commencement speech for Wellesley College: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent.”