Fans of the Real Housewives franchise are in mourning with RHONY alum Jill Zarin, whose husband, Bobby Zarin, died at 71 following an eight-year battle with cancer. On Monday, the day of his funeral, Jill penned a heartbreaking tribute to the man with whom, just earlier this month, she celebrated 18 years of marriage.
“Rest in Peace my love. Words can not express the hole in my heart,” Jill captioned a sweet series of pics of the two of them on Instagram. “Bobby taught me what true and deep love is. Thank you my love for sharing your life with me.. for raising Allyson as if she was your own, being an amazing father and grandfather and teaching me how to be a better person. You inspire those around you to be the best they can be.”
Bobby was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer in June 2009. It later returned and spread to his lungs, and in 2016, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This past July, he was hospitalized for complications from his illness.
In her touching Instagram post, Jill referenced several inside jokes that she shared with her late husband. “I will continue to honor you and make you proud,” she said. “You taught me so many lessons. I will turn the lights off when I leave a room and try not to lose my keys! Lists! Yes, I will make lists now that you can’t remind me.”
Bobby’s funeral was held at Riverside Memorial in New York City on Monday, where Jill delivered a eulogy that had the whole room in tears, according to People.
“I wasn’t sure if I could stand up here today,” she said. “[Bobby] was an incredibly great husband, a great father and grandfather, and [a] truly great friend.” She went on to say that she and their children spent his last hours sleeping in a hospital room with him. She also told the touching story of the blanket that she draped over his casket.
“When Bobby got sick in July, I needed something to keep my mind going,” she said. “[So] I started knitting him a blanket. … He spent the last days of his life snuggled up in it. The irony is, when I draped it over the casket, it fit perfectly. Bobby knew.”
The funeral was attended by family, as well as RHONY stars Sonja Morgan, Dorinda Medley, Aviva Drescher, and Bethenny Frankel, who had a falling out but recently reconciled with Jill during their time together on the show.
Our thoughts go out to the Zarin family at this difficult time.
(Photo via Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Samuel Waxman Center)