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'Bachelorette' Ashley Hebert Still Struggles With Ex's Death, But Is Ready For Love Again!

Wed, May 25, 2011 10:02am EDT by 3 Comments

The tragic death of her ex-boyfriend Joe left Ashley heartbroken. But over eight months later, Ashley is learning to cope and admits that she’s finally ready to fall in love again on ‘The Bachelorette!’

Just weeks before Ashley Hebert went on The Bachelor to compete for Brad Womack, tragedy struck when her first love, Joe Olszewski, passed away on Sept. 2, 2010 from complications of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Ashley remained mum about his death throughout filming Brad’s seaso,n dealing with the pain on her own. But now Ashley’s finally opened up about her sad loss — and says that coming to terms with it helped her in her quest for love on The Bachelorette.

“He was so very dear to my heart, and his passing took a toll on me,” Ashley tells Life & Style magazine. “I still struggle with Joe’s passing, but it also made me realize life is so short.”

This realization is what allowed Ashley to allow 25 new guys in on The Bachelorette. “I’m happy,” the 27-year-old recent Dental school grad admits. “After meeting the guys, I feel like the stars are aligning for me.”

Ashley knows she couldn’t keep her heart under lock and key for much longer — because guarding herself is what destroyed her relationship with Brad. “I knew I had to change,” says Ashley. “I said to myself, ‘If I keep acting so protectively, I’ll never allow myself to fall in love.'”

So with Joe’s memory still present and the prospective she gained from her relationship with Brad, Ashley began her journey on the show with one philosophy: “When you find someone you love, tell him!”

Now that Ashley’s done filming and the show premiered on May 23, it’s possible that Ashley found love again — but if so, she’s keeping it a secret!

BFFs — do you think Ashley finds love on The Bachelorette?

– Lindsey DiMattina

More Bachelorette Stories:

  1. Ashley Charmed By Player Bentley!
  2. Ashley Says She’s Lucky Brad Womack Didn’t Pick Her!
  3. Ashley Has Been Warned About Bentley!