“A man Dennis, who I loved and respected, who was in my life for 30 years unexpectedly passed away,” the 48-year-old wrote.
Shields, who Frankel met years ago but had dated on-and-off since 2016, was found dead after overdosing on a combination of oxycodone, Vicodin and a sleeping pill in his Trump Tower apartment in Manhattan last year. He was 51.
Frankel’s grieving process was captured on the most recent season of the Bravo reality show as she started filming three weeks after the incident.
On the show, she revealed he had proposed to her at one point but she wasn’t quite ready to tie the knot for various reasons. In one episode, she also opened up to a grief counselor and admitted she felt “guilty” about his passing.
In her tribute, she shared a photo of Shields with her two dogs, Biggy and Smallz, complete with a sweet story of how he convinced her to adopt the pups and helped her name them.
“He loved these dogs and the feelings were mutual,” she wrote.
“At times, it seemed like he and they spoke the same language and they were the only ones who understood him,” she added. “He was a loving, sweet, gentle, brilliant, complicated, hilarious, creative and supportive man. He is missed terribly by so many but lives on in his friends and family and furry loved ones.”
Frankel has since moved on with boyfriend Paul Bernon. They had known each other prior to Shields’ death but she revealed in most recent “RHONY” reunion special that the two reconnected. They regularly post about each other on Instagram and just celebrated his birthday in Italy.
“I am a different person and in a different emotional place than I was a year ago,” she concluded. “The wounds have begun to heal but the scar will remain on my heart forever.”
She is mom to 9-year-old Bryn, whom she shares with ex-husband Jason Hoppy. The two have been in an ongoing legal battle over custody.
This article originally appeared on Page Six.