Ben Higgins Mourns Loss of His WWII Veteran Grandpa in Heartfelt Tribute: 'I Love You Gramps'
"If he knew it or not, I looked up to my grandpa in all that he did," the former Bachelor captioned his Instagram tribute
In an Instagram tribute on Wednesday, Higgins opened up about how he has "been processing the loss" of his loved one over the last few days. He also expressed how much his grandpa meant to him.
"If he knew it or not, I looked up to my grandpa in all that he did. His approval and attention always mattered to me," the former Bachelor star, 32, captioned his post, which included video footage of his late grandfather. "I admired him and watched carefully his every move. He was a larger than life personality to all of us and he seemed to have an influence on everyone around him. He made people laugh, he told stories better than anyone I have ever met, and he had an appreciation for life that lasted him until his last days."
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Higgins said that his grandfather "was a WWII veteran" who "is someone who will forever be a type of super hero in my mind." He also shared recordings from his "last time in person with him," when they drove around in his grandpa's Gator utility vehicle.
"Until his last breath he was moving fast, taking risks, and making us all laugh along the way," Higgins continued. "With a tear in my eye but a peace in my heart I say rest in love grandpa and may your legacy forever go on within the Rocking H. One day soon I hope to go back to Buffalo, Wyoming and thank you for the memories created."
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He added, "You won't see me get married but I promise you believe it or not it will happen and I am a very lucky guy. From helping me harvest my first deer to teaching me how to build a fence I love you gramps and remember to always keep your powder dry."
Many Bachelor Nation stars expressed their condolences for Higgins. Wells Adams commented about how "sorry" he was for his "brother" and noted how "super rad" his grandpa appeared to be. Kaitlyn Bristowe and Blake Horstmann both dropped multiple red heart emoji, while Eric Bigger replied with several prayer hand emoji. Jared Haibon wrote, "Love ya buddy."
Higgins' fiancée, Jessica Clarke, added beneath the post: "Love you grandpa Higgins."
As Higgins works through the loss of his grandpa, he still has his upcoming wedding to Clark to look forward to. The couple met in 2018 when Higgins slid into her Instagram DMs and they made their relationship Instagram official in February 2019. They later got engaged in March 2020, but they postponed their nuptials due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I mean, it's been a year [of] push back now," he told PEOPLE in January. "I'm making this commitment that I've been ready to make with her for a long time and it just keeps getting pushed back."
The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast co-host said that it's been "really hard" for Clarke, in particular. "I think the hard part is just having in the back of your head, like, 'We could plan on this thing, and it could maybe not happen. It could be changed completely.' That's tough," he continued, noting that he has mostly "stayed out" of the wedding planning. "It's also trying to plan it so that grandparents can come, hopefully, and that way they can be there to celebrate with us. I think that's the part that is the most stressful, just not knowing."