The Bachelorette season 16 is underway, and Clare Crawley is the reality show’s newest star. Since Crawley first joined Bachelor Nation as a contestant on Juan Pablo Galavis’s season of The Bachelor, her relationship with her late father, James, has been an important part of her story and journey for love.
Crawley’s father passed away from brain cancer in 2004. At the time, Crawley, who is now 39, was only 23 years old.
Crawley’s Father Left Behind a Video for Her to Share With Her Future Husband
As a contestant on The Bachelor season 18, the passing of her father was a big piece of her intro story. She said, “When my dad passed away, I feel like it just shattered my world.”
In that video package, she shared an emotional story about a gift her father left behind for her future husband before his death. Opening up, she said, “One of the things my dad did before he passed away – he made a DVD for my future husband to watch. But, I’m saving it for the right man to watch it. I am looking for a man that is just like my dad: strong, loving, gentle, compassionate, and just a real, genuine, kind man.”
Crawley said she’s never watched the DVD, and although she got engaged to Benoit Beauséjour-Savard on The Bachelor‘s “Winter Games,” it doesn’t seem that Beauséjour-Savard watched the video before the two cut off their engagement weeks after the “Winter Games” finale aired. It seems likely that the DVD, which has been built up for years, will be a part of Crawley’s finale as The Bachelorette.
In 2018, after she was engaged to Beauséjour-Savard, Crawley told Us Weekly, “Before my dad passed away, we had our own little like father-daughter dance at home, when we knew he was going to pass away. After that, the wedding wasn’t important. I think that’s when your dad gives you away, and that’s, to me, old fashioned, but it’s how things go. So, I never thought I’d have a wedding!”
Crawley’s Mother Has Been Diagnosed With Dementia & Alzheimer’s
Though she lost her father 16 years ago, Crawley has her 5 older sisters as well as her mom. This year, she’s struggled with her mom’s health issues and how hard it’s been not to be able to see her due to quarantine and the COVID-19 pandemic. On the show, Crawley opened up about her mom’s diagnosis with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, saying, “She lives in a care facility because of her Alzheimer’s and dementia. I’m sure a lot of people are experiencing this as well, but it’s really hard for me to not be able to see her, to not be able to hug her. It’s hard.”
In May, Crawley shared a sweet selfie on Instagram, featuring her mom kissing her on the cheek. In the caption, she wrote, “This was the last time I got to hug my mom before quarantine. She had fallen and split her nose open + had two black eyes, and I think I slept a total of 2 hours because I was so worried about her. But you wouldn’t be able to tell any of that, because we were so happy just to be able to spend time together! Memories like this matter the most to me!”
During the season 16 premiere episode, viewers learned that contestant Blake Moynes saw Crawley’s post about her mom on Instagram and broke the “no contact before filming” rule to reach out of DM and make sure she was doing okay. Crawley praised him for his bold action, saying he was the only contestant to check in on her during the quarantine.
New episodes of The Bachelorette season 16 air on Tuesday nights at 8/7c on ABC.