Season 11 of The Real Housewives of New York City began on a somber note for Bethenny Frankel as she mourned the loss of her on-again, off-again boyfriend Dennis Shields three weeks after his passing on August 10, 2018.
In the Season 11 premiere, which aired Wednesday night, Bethenny recalled the moment she learned of Dennis' passing. "Tyler, his daughter, called me hysterically crying, and she said, 'My dad died this morning,'" Bethenny shared. "And I started screaming into the phone."
Bethenny shared with her friends while hanging out at her home in the Hamptons that she and her daughter Bryn have sent Dennis messages of love via text following his passing. The RHONY mogul has also found comfort by surrounding herself with friends during this difficult time.
Still, Bethenny said that, "I've never in my life experienced this moment, this feeling, this hysteria." She then described the thoughts that have raced through her mind after Dennis' death: "Let's figure out what happened. Let me put the pieces of the puzzle together. Someone tell me how bad they feel, his daughter, his son, he was doing this last week. He wrote me 50 texts, he wanted to marry me, I have a ring on my finger. He's dead. It doesn't matter. He's gone. There's nothing to say."
However, Bethenny said she feels like she has gradually been able to move on from this tragedy. "Time is healing the wounds a little more than I thought. It's going faster," she said. "And then I feel guilty, like how could you be having fun when Dennis is dead? But I'm trying to do what he would want me to do."
In the end, Bethenny and her friends toasted to living every day like it's your last. "Life can be sad, so I guess the bottom line is enjoy it," Bethenny said.
In the weeks following Dennis' passing, Bethenny often opened up about how much she valued his support, whether it was at the RHONY Season 10 reunion or in launching her latest business venture. She has also spoken about how continuing her hurricane relief efforts helped her cope with the loss of her loved one.
Bethenny started a new relationship following Dennis' passing. She introduced her new boyfriend on Instagram at the end of 2018.