The death of Eric Hill, on April 23, was surely a tragic event. The 32-year-old explorer passed away from injuries sustained in a paragliding accident just days prior.
However, less than a month later, Hill appeared full of life on the season premier of ABC’s The Bachelorette. In the show’s 12-year history, this is the first time they have ever had to deal with the death of a contestant, according to the show’s host Chris Harrison, as reported by Time. At the time of his death, Hill was no longer a contestant on the show, as he had already been sent home by this season’s bachelorette, Andi Dorfman, but the news of his passing shocked and saddened those remaining on the show.
The producers and ABC considered editing Hill out of the show before it aired but decided to allow him to remain in the episodes. Hill’s death was immediately addressed in the season premiere.
On Today’s entertainment blog, Eric’s sister, Karen Tracey, wrote a touching post about how it feels to witness her brother go on dates after his death.
She explains “In some ways, it’s only fitting that he is defying death in this way. My brother always thought bigger and dreamed bigger than anyone I have ever known.”
Hill was an adventurer who had traveled the world with a mission to visit all 195 United Nations-recognized countries in world record time on his site The Global Odyssey. He had been to 51 countries for the project so far, although he had traveled to more than a hundred countries, according to his sister. Eric Hill is described a man who lived life to the absolute fullest.
Since his death, Eric’s family has established a philanthropic foundation in his honor, LiveLikeEric.com. According to the organization’s website, the goal of the foundation is to continue Hill’s legacy “to carry out acts of extreme philanthropy that provide service and relief, increase cultural awareness, eliminate prejudice and discrimination, and provide joy and wonder.”
The idea that a philanthropist such as Hill can continue doing good for the world after his death, simply by appearing on The Bachlorette, is astounding. If the network and producers had chosen to edit Eric out of his episodes, this message of his accomplishments and that of his family would likely not be passed on. Instead, viewers get to see his smiling face each week and maybe be reminded of his mission to make the world a more awesome place. While it makes his death no less sad, it seems like Eric Hill would be glad to know his message is still being spread.
Photo via nydailynews.com