Bethenny Frankel Shares News Of Her Mother Bernadette Birk’s Passing At 73 Due To Lung Cancer

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Bethenny Frankel is grieving the loss of her mother, Bernadette Birk, who passed away from lung cancer. Birk’s demise occurred on April 19, 2024, at the age of 73 in Sunrise, Florida, as reported by Neptune Society.

Sharing the news of her mother’s passing on Instagram on Saturday, April 20, the former “Real Housewives of New York City” star posted a series of photos alongside a heartfelt tribute.

The carousel of images included snapshots of Frankel and her mother throughout the decades, concluding with a picture of Birk posing with Frankel’s daughter, Bryn Hoppy.

In the caption, Frankel reflected on her complex relationship with her mother, acknowledging both the positive and challenging aspects of their journey together as mother and daughter.

“She was complex, in pain, isolated and had demons,” Frankel wrote of her mother. “She was the most stunning woman you have ever seen, who left her abusive home as quickly as I ran from mine.”

While Frankel described her mother as “brilliant, funny, cultured and wise,” she also noted that she had her struggles too, including alcohol abuse, an eating disorder, smoking and “self-destruction.”

“Despite not being equipped to be a mother, she loved me and I have beautiful memories of her,” Frankel added. “She taught me food, wit, culture and strength. She loved to dance.”

Frankel didn’t “sugarcoat” her tribute, noting that she became “an adult” before she was the age of her 13-year-old daughter, adding that she experienced “things no young child should endure.”

“This made me strong, tough, a survivor who is able to handle anything,” she wrote. “The universe gave me the most beautiful daughter and my childhood gave me inspiration to break the chain.”

Frankel said that she ultimately reconnected with her mother for the sake of Bryn, noting that her mom “adored” her daughter and they had a shared love of art.

“She was selfish in life, yet selfless in death,” Frankel wrote. “She left what little she had to my daughter, wished to be cremated, and wanted no one to be notified besides me.”

While Frankel shared some of the tougher moments with her mom, she also said that she remembered her “during periods of happiness loving me and long for those memories of affection.”

“I mourn her loss, her life, her loneliness and my childhood,” Frankel wrote. “I mourn her inability to experience motherhood, the most beautiful gift of a lifetime.”

Frankel shared a sendoff to her mom, noting, “You did the best you could and you are free and at peace.”

“I miss my mommy as a little girl and I am grateful for my daughter consistently pushing to meet her and myself for re-opening old wounds for their relationship,” she wrote in part. “Life is about loss and loving. I have had shame in never really having family, yet my very small group of friends, my beautiful Bryn, and you are my family.”

To end her caption, Frankel encouraged her followers to “call, connect with, or hug someone you have a complicated relationship with.”

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