‘Counting On’: Jinger and Joe Duggar Take Grandma Mary’s Loss the Hardest In An Emotional Episode

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy, but when it’s unexpected, things are even more difficult. During Counting On’s season 10 finale, the Duggar family dealt with the untimely loss of their Grandma Mary, Jim Bob Duggar’s mother and the last surviving parent between him and Michelle Duggar. Though all the grandchildren were upset, Joe and Jinger seemed to have the most difficult time handling the loss.

Jinger Duggar with her grandmother and Felicity
Jinger Duggar with her grandmother and Felicity | Jinger Vuolo via Instagram

Grandma Mary has been the matriarch of the Duggar family for years

Jim Bob’s father and Michelle Duggar’s parents passed away quite a while ago, so Grandma Mary was the one everyone looked up to for years. She was a guiding light in the family, and the grandchildren had a very close relationship with her. The kids had just been at church with their grandmother when, hours later, they received a call that she had fallen into her pool and drowned. Michelle said she believed Mary was having a stroke at the time and that her passing was quick; she said she prays Mary felt no pain.

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It didn’t matter who you were, she was “Grandma” to you. That’s most often how she would introduce herself. “Hi, I’m Grandma!” Everybody called her Grandma. She took a genuine interest in people. She would converse with you in a way that made you feel special and loved and cared about. She had a knack for remembering details, and the next time she saw you, she would inquire about things told to her in past conversations. She was so excited about the many new great-grandbabies due this coming fall and winter, and it never got old for her. She welcomed each new baby with joy and would hold them with such tenderness and delight. We will keep her stories and memories alive for these little ones, but we’re sad that they will not have the blessing of knowing her in person as we have. She was always available. When we kids were young, she would often babysit so Mom and Dad could go out on a date. If Mom needed something from the grocery store, she was happy to pick it up. She always had time for a conversation with the teenager and never passed over the toddlers either. Each one of us was made to feel valued and loved by Grandma. She was our biggest cheerleader, coming to every music recital, birthday party, and graduation celebration— and with 21 grandkids and 13 great-grandkids, that was quite a feat! She was an exhorter. If we ever doubted our gifts or abilities, Grandma was there to spur us on. She’d pull the classic “grandma move” and have us putting on impromptu talent shows for complete strangers. “Why don’t you get up here and perform that song you’ve been working on?” “Aww, Grandma, really? Do I have to?” We’d say, glancing at mom, but we knew Mom would back her every time. We’d reluctantly get up and do a number, and it didn’t matter how terrible we thought we sounded, Grandma would beam with pride and start the applause. She believed in our gifts and abilities more than we did at times, and she spurred us on to do our best and to give God the glory for all our talents and achievements. Click :LINK IN BIO: or swipe left to read the rest of the tribute to Grandma Duggar ❤️—

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Jinger Duggar was seen crying several times on the season finale

When the kids learned of the loss, all of them had a difficult time handling it. Michelle said she told Jedediah first, and he told his younger siblings. But when Jinger received the call, she had a very hard time dealing with it. She broke down while talking to the camera, and her husband comforted her. “I’m gonna miss her a lot,” Jinger said through tears.

Later, when Jinger was delivering her grandmother’s outfit to the funeral home, she broke down again while speaking with the funeral director. And at the family service, Jinger was seen crying in her seat; she didn’t get up and speak to the crowd the way most of the kids did.  

Joe Duggar was comforted by his wife after he broke down at the podium

Several of the Duggar grandchildren stood up at the podium to speak about their mother. Jackson, the 15th Duggar child, broke down while speaking. But Joe Duggar, who is married to Kendra Caldwell, stepped up to the podium and instantly couldn’t handle the hurt. He broke down before he could speak, and he had to step away, where he leaned into his brother for comfort. Kendra walked up front to comfort her husband, and he was able to pull it together to speak a few words.

Jim Bob’s last words to his mother would hit any viewer in the feels  

The day after the family service, Grandma Mary’s official service took place, seemingly at the family’s church. The seats were filled with those who loved the oldest Duggar, and many people walked up to pay their respects. But it was Jim Bob’s last words to his mom that hit everyone in the feels. Toward the end of the episode, Jim Bob was the last one to look into his mother’s casket, and he uttered one last sentence to his mother: “Bye, Mom. I’ll see you on the other side.”