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Bethenny Frankel Mourns Late Mother After Lung Cancer Battle

The bonds between a mother and her daughter are often difficult to describe. Sometimes, they’re great and supportive and all things kind, with a few random slip-ups on the side. Other times, they’re lacking, and the child grows into an adult with a hefty therapy tab, eager to break the chains of their past. This is a universal truth that affects everyone, even a Real Housewives of New York alum like Bethenny Frankel.

Over the years, Bethenny’s been pretty blunt about her complicated relationship with her mother Bernadette Birk, aka Bonnie. In turn, her mother also popped up, taking to the various outlets to disparage her daughter. When Bethenny had her daughter Bryn, the two were able to make peace, but sadly, Bonnie’s just passed away. Even though it’s likely hard to find the right words, Bethenny’s complicated tribute still packs a powerful, albeit emotional punch.

Go rest high, on that mountain

First, Bethenny announced her mother’s passing, penning “My mother has died of lung cancer. She was complex, in pain, isolated, and had demons. She was the most stunning woman you have ever seen.”

Then, Bethenny dove headfirst into the tough stuff, explaining that “She was brilliant, funny, cultured and wise — yet suffered a lifelong eating disorder, alcoholism, abuse, smoking, and self-destruction. Despite not being equipped to be a mother, she loved me and I have beautiful memories of her … I won’t sugarcoat it. I was an adult long before Bryn’s age, experiencing things no young child should endure.”

Noting that what she endured shaped her life, Bethenny then went on to state, “This made me strong, tough, a survivor who is able to handle anything. The universe gave me the most beautiful daughter and my childhood gave me inspiration to break the chain. We reconnected so my daughter could know and love her. She adored Bryn and they shared a love of art.”

On her passing, Bethenny wrote “She was selfish in life, yet selfless in death. She left what little she had to my daughter, wished to be cremated, and wanted no one to be notified besides me. Goodbye mom, Bonnie, Bernadette. You did the best you could and you are free and at peace.” To close, Bethenny implored her followers to “Please call, connect with, or hug someone you have a complicated relationship with today.”

Rest well, Bonnie. But also, Bethenny, you’ve been through a lot, so make sure to grant yourself grace in the days that lie ahead.

The Real Housewives of New York is streaming on Peacock.