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The most-watched reality show on television was faced with a very harsh and personal tragedy on Monday night.

As previously detailed, Rachel and Gabby visited the hometowns of various suitors on the latest installment of the franchise, with the former at one point heading to Bedminster, New Jersey to spend time with Erich.

Prior to meeting with this suitor’s loved ones, Erich told his potential spouse that his dad, Allan, had been diagnosed with cancer years earlier and “was legitimately supposed to die like three times.”

This awful news aside, the evening went very well for Gabby and Erich.

Toward the end of their date, both stars said they were falling in love with each other, with Gabby emphasizing:

“I think Erich’s hometown could have changed the rest of my life.”

As we’ve since learned, however, Erich’s life was changed for the much worse not terribly long after this special visit from one of The Bachelorettes.

According to the real estate analyst, Allan — who said on air that he “really liked Gabby” — never got to see his son’s season of The Bachelorette air.

He passed away at age 65 on July 6, just five days before the Season 19 premiere.

“Thankful for everything you’ve done for me,” Erich posted on Instagram July 9.

“We are gonna miss the hell out of you Big AL. I love you so much dad.”

Elsewhere, Erich shared another snapshot of his dad, simply captioned with one red-heart emoji, as the hometown date aired.

We’ve uploaded it below.

On the aforementioned August 22 episode, Allan said that he had been in the ICU with appendiceal cancer for about 40 days before Erich and Gabby showed up on their hometown date.

“But I’m still here,” Allan told Erich and Gabby, who works as an ICU nurse.

“I’m happy. I’m positive, so that’s good. I really admire the ICU nurses. They’re so sharp.”

Erich noted on air that his father’s effort during this gathering was both challenging and inspiring.

“He’s struggling for sure to be there to meet Gabby and for it to be like a family thing,” Erich said in an on-camera interview, adding:

“I have to show my dad how much she means to me because it’s really important.”

For her part, Gabby said via confessional that seeing Erich with his family “made my feelings so much deeper for him.”

She added:

Later, Gabby and Erich enjoyed some one-on-one time after the family meetup.

“I am really falling for you, Gabby,” Erich said. “I think now I might even be falling in love with you.”

Emotional stuff to be sure. But where will things end up between Gabby and Erich?

Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia are looking for love on The Bachelorette. Yes, at the same time!

In an official preview for the Fantasy Suite episode, Erich makes an understandable admission.

“Picturing a girl I’m in love with doing that with someone else crushes me,” he says of Gabby fulfilling her fantasy in this suite with another contestant.

Does this mean he doesn’t end up down on one knee on the upcoming finale?

Visit our section of The Bachelorette spoilers to find out!

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