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April 18, 2018 02:26 PM

George H.W. Bush wants the American public to “cross the Bushes off your worry list” in the wake of his beloved wife Barbara’s death at 92 on Tuesday.

In his first public statement since Mrs. Bush’s passing, the former president said through his spokesman, Jim McGrath, on Wednesday: “I always knew Barbara was the most beloved woman in the world, and in fact I used to tease her that I had a complex about that fact.

“But the truth is the outpouring of love and friendship being directed at The Enforcer is lifting us all up,” Bush, 93, continued. “We have faith she is heaven, and we know life will go on — as she would have it. So cross the Bushes off your worry list.”

The formidable former first lady — nicknamed “The Enforcer” by her family — died Tuesday at her home in Texas.

Barbara and George H.W. Bush
Al Bello/Getty

The Office of George H. W. Bush first confirmed her passing in a formal statement on Tuesday saying: “A former First Lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the age of 92.

“She is survived by her husband of 73 years, President George H. W. Bush; five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; and her brother Scott Pierce. She was preceded in death by her second child, Pauline “Robin” Bush, and her siblings Martha Rafferty and James R. Pierce.”

Her son, former President George W. Bush, also released a statement paying tribute to the strong woman who raised him.

“My dear mother has passed on at age 92,” he said in a statement. “Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was.”

“Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”

In a 2013 interview with C-SPAN, Mrs. Bush said she never feared death thanks to her strong faith.

“I have no fear of death, which is a huge comfort because we’re getting darn close,” the former first lady said at the time. “I don’t have a fear of death for my precious George, or for myself, because I know that there is a great God, and I’m not worried.”

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