Big Brother 2014 cast member Frankie Grande learned on Wednesday that his grandfather passed away. Despite the anguish of not being with his loved ones at this sad time, Frankie has decided he will not leave the competition.

Big Brother 16 Cast - Frankie Grande (CBS)

Big Brother 16 Cast – Frankie Grande (CBS)

Frankie’s grandfather was reportedly 90 years old and had been ill for some time. His sister, singer Ariana Grande, recently took time off from her busy schedule to spend time with him in his last days. She announced early on Wednesday morning that he had died.

“Thank you for your continuous love & light over the past few weeks… we did lose my favorite person to ever exist yesterday, my grandpa,” Ariana posted on her Twitter feed. She followed up with many sweet photos of her late grandfather, who told her before he died that he did not want Frankie to leave Big Brother. She said they asked him if they should bring Frankie home, and “he said ‘no way! he’s gotta play the game even tho i don’t understand it.'”

Normally Houseguests receive absolutely no communications or news from the outside world except their carefully reviewed Head of Household letters. This kind of tragic news, however, is sometimes an exception to the rule. Production informed Frankie of the sad news via a letter in the Diary Room on Wednesday night.

On the Big Brother Live Feeds, we watched as Frankie came back from the Diary Room with the letter and shared the news with his fellow Houseguests. They all gathered around to support Frankie as he grieved over his grandfather’s death.

Through his tears, Frankie talked about what an amazing man his grandfather was and how much he loved him and will miss him. All of the Houseguests — except Caleb, who slept through it all — joined together to give Frankie a giant group hug.

After the gathering broke up, there were more hugs all around and poor Zach was so upset for Frankie that he went off and cried for quite some time by himself in the Have-Not room.

We feel terrible for Frankie that he could not be with his grandfather before he passed and that he can’t be with his family now. It is a horrible choice for anyone to have to make, but he is doing what his grandfather wished by staying, and at least he knows that is what he wanted.

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