And not a day goes by that the "Real Housewives of New York" alum doesn't think about him, especially today, on what would have been his 53rd birthday.
"Happy Birthday Dennis," she captioned a series of intimate photos she shared on Instagram Thursday. "Thinking of you today and every day."
Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.
"It's been tough recently because the world lost another legend and so many innocent lives," she added of the recent helicopter crash that claimed the lives of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. "You are gone but never will be forgotten. You are missed. You are constantly quoted. You are one of a kind. You are eating multiple Nestle crunch bars, Sprites, and JG Mellon double cheese cheeseburgers in heaven, and now you have an amazing basketball player to watch and bet on up there."
The Skinnygirl mogul went on to let Shields know he'd be "proud of my decisions and the evolution of my career and my life. You would be so excited about all of the announcements coming soon. You were my biggest cheerleader and were positive about a future for me that I never imagined possible."
Of her daughter, Bryn, she said the 9-year-old was "still 'sweet as sugar' as you always refer to her and she misses your blindfolded food tasting contests and leaving trails of chocolate chips. You were right about @biggysmallz being the greatest dogs. Bryn tells everyone: 'Dennis has had more than 30 dogs and says he has never met sweeter dogs.'"
Bethenny also wanted Dennis to know that she and Bryn were "in good hands with Paul, who you would like and respect and vice versa. He looks out for us and is very caring. You always said I would find someone who would take care of me. We miss you. Happy Birthday! I know they have peanut butter chocolate cake and Hemingway in heaven. Everyone misses you and you are still the center of attention-just how you secretly like it. Xoxo."
Bethenny began dating boyfriend Paul Bernon a few months after Dennis' death. The reality star, who's deathly allergic to fish, credits Paul with literally saving her life after she accidentally ate soup that contained fish product. "I felt Dennis pulling at me," she sobbed after the near-death experience.
Frankel ended her beautiful tribute to her late boyfriend with two Ernest Hemingway quotes: "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places," and "Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know."
In a footnote, she mentioned her late puppy, Cookie, saying she hoped her pooch was "giving you great snuggles at the [rainbow] bridge."
Dennis Shields was found dead in his Trump Tower condo on the morning of Friday, August 10, after suffering a suspected overdose. He was 51.
Since 2016, Bethenny and Dennis had been in what she described as an "on-and-off" relationship. She revealed he had even proposed to her and given Bryn a ring, too.
"It was not even close to a perfect relationship," Bethenny explained during a 2019 episode of "RHONY." "Part of me died inside. It was really bad. But I couldn't get out, though, either. I loved him so much and we were family and my daughter was so close to him and I knew him for so many years. He proposed on April 25th. I didn't tell anybody that. I kept it to myself because I didn't want another circus of my life, so I didn't want to start telling people, but we had our own private engagement."
"It's funny because he said to me, 'Well, did you say yes?'" she recalled. "And I said, 'Well, I love you and I can't believe you did this, but we have to talk about some conditions and some terms and how things are going to change, issues I've had with partnership and consistency.' It was all very complicated. It wasn't what a natural engagement should be, so our engagement was on ice."
Before his death, Dennis made numerous appearances on the show. During a chilling episode that aired in 2018, Bethenny was chatting with Dorinda Medley about the latter's relationship ups and downs with then-boyfriend John Mahdessian when she brought up her own relationship with Shields.
"You're just lucky that John's never going anywhere," she said. "I didn't say it to Dennis, but in my own mind, I said, '90 days. I'm not saying a word to Dennis for 90 days.' It's a really hard thing to realize that someone you love just doesn't mean they're the right person, and I wish he was."
Speaking about her massive townhouse at the time, Frankel added, "I may live here forever alone, and I'm okay with that."