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Dean Opens Up About His Mother's Death On 'The Bachelorette' & It Was Heartbreaking

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Bachelor Nation is knee deep in Rachel's journey for love on this season of The Bachelorette, which means a ton of dates each episode. Of course, the most coveted are the one-on-ones, and on Monday's episode she chose Dean for one of them. After a blimp ride (which was great for Dean, who's afraid of heights), the two weren't afraid to get real with each other at dinner. When opening up about their upbringing, Dean talked about his family's past, and viewers couldn't help but get as teary as he did. Dean talked about his mother's death on The Bachelorette and it was absolutely heartbreaking.

The audience actually met Dean in a much different contest – before this season even began. Dean was one of four contestants to appear on After the Final Rose following the finale of Nick's Bachelor season. He was immediately polarizing because he said he "wanted to go black and never come back," but Rachel claimed to have loved it. Judging from how she's treated Dean this season, she wasn't kidding — she legitimately likes him! Their one-on-one date began with a blimp ride, which Rachel coached Dean through as he's afraid of heights. They were vibing the entire time — and he didn't vomit in the air like Vanessa did last season! (Not that it would've mattered — Vanessa won anyway.)

Then, as it usually happens, the date became more serious while they were talking. Dean asked about how Rachel grew up, and she discussed her family and religion. When it was Dean's turn, he talked about his mother's struggle with breast cancer. She was initially diagnosed when Dean was nine years old, but had beaten it. Unfortunately, though, it came back when he was a teenager and she passed away. Dean said after that, his family "fell apart" and his siblings moved away from him. He couldn't help but teared up; Rachel said during a confessional that she kept from crying herself because she didn't want him to cry even more.

Not only did Dean open up about this, but he said Rachel is the first person he's done so with (well, Rachel and millions of viewers). Rachel was so appreciative of the gesture — and was already feeling Dean from earlier — that she handed over the date night rose. Dean wasn't afraid to be real with Rachel about his tragic past, and now he's definitely a frontrunner for her heart.