On Monday’s all-new episode, fans got to the see the two come together as Frankel attended the funeral for Jill’s late husband, Bobby Zarin.
It was the first time Frankel, 47, and Jill, 54, had come face-to-face since their epic falling out on the third season of RHONY, which aired in 2010. “There’s a lot going on in my life right now and I just don’t feel like now is the time to take on a huge emotional conversation,” Frankel told Jill at the time during that season’s reunion, explaining why she didn’t want to try to repair their relationship. “Maybe we’ll have lunch some day.”
That day, it turns out, came eight years later. But it wouldn’t be a lunch — it would be a funeral.
“I haven’t spoken to Jill in years,” Frankel explained as she made her way to Riverside Memorial in New York City, where the service was being held. “Despite what’s happened with Jill, Bobby loved me and I loved him.”
“I’m going to Bobby’s funeral, for Jill,” Frankel added. “I want to see her again. I’m feeling badly, not about our relationship, just about a woman who lost her husband. A loss. I mean, they were married for all these years. That’s a real loss. No matter what, they were together all the time.”
Bobby died in January at the age of 71 following a prolonged cancer battle. He and Jill had been together for over 20 years, and married for 18.
“I’m alone now. I don’t know what I’m going to do without him. What am I going to do? I haven’t been alone since I was 20 years old,” Jill lamented to Frankel as they met outside after the funeral. “You know I’ve been crying for a year. And the last six months and the last month, all I did was cry in the hospital. He was gone. He was gone.”
Frankel tried to comfort Jill. “We’re all alone. I’m alone too. But you have good friends,” she said, adding that she couldn’t leave and was struggling seeing Jill alone. “What are you going to do now? I know, I’m sorry. It didn’t hit me until yesterday. He’s not here. He’s supposed to be next to you.”
Jill didn’t waste any time telling Frankel that she was loved. “Bobby’s here. He’s still here. I’m so proud of you. I just have to tell you: Bobby loved you,” she said, the two then joking about the lack of gift bags at his funeral. “No gift bags! I was thinking of getting shot glasses for everybody. I was working on it …”
HOUSEWIVES HISTORY: The History of Jill Zarin and Bethenny Frankel’s Feud
Though their chat ended soon thereafter, Frankel would return to see Jill days later at her home in Manhattan, where the Zarin Fabrics matriarch was sitting shiva.
With her, Frankel brought a special guest: daughter Bryn Hoppy, 8.
It was the first time Jill had ever met Bryn.
“The whole way up here, I explained, ‘This is a girl I used to be friends with.’ I said, ‘I want you to be so sweet and give her a hug and she’ll freak out because she never met you,’ ” Frankel later explained to costar Sonja Morgan. “She died. She couldn’t believe she was meeting Bryn. Bryn gave her a hug, Bryn said, ‘Hi Bobby,’ like to the pictures. It was so sweet. She’s like, ‘Oh my God.’ ”
That’s not all Jill apparently said. According to Frankel, Jill also used their time together to apologize for their falling out.
“She said, ‘I was wrong.’ And I swear, she seemed different,” Frankel recalled. “She seemed humble. She said, ‘I did the wrong things, I didn’t know what I was doing, I had the wrong priorities, I’m not the same person.’ I believed her. I really did. I could be crazy. I believed her. … It was just us. There were no other girls, it wasn’t an ordeal, and we had a nice conversation. She was calm and real.”
While Frankel seemed ready to move on, she was remaining cautious. “Let me just keep this where it is right now,” she told audiences. “I was burned. If she reaches out, I reach out back. I’m happy we had closure, I’m happy I came to the funeral, but I just want to keep it where it is.”
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Since then, both have stayed on good terms. Jill told PEOPLE in May that she and Frankel are still texting. Frankel was vocal that same month about her time with Jill, saying on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that their friendship was “nice.”
The two have Bobby to thank.
“During the funeral, they kept saying that Bobby would never tell Jill no,” Frankel said on Wednesday’s episode. “So it’s so ironic that the one time Bobby’s ever told her no was when she told him to fix it with me. And Bobby said, ‘No, you’re going to have to learn the lesson on your own. You were wrong.’ But in the end, Bobby did fix it. Because it was his funeral.”
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.