EDDIE VAN HALEN's Ex-Wife Says They Came 'To A Very Wonderful Place At The End Of His Life'

April 3, 2024

Eddie Van Halen's ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli wrote in one of the intimate essays in her latest cookbook, "Indulge", that "though we got divorced, Ed and I never stopped loving each other. Who knows, if not for cancer, we might have had a second wind," but "I'm pretty sure that is wistful thinking."

She later clarified to USA Today that "wistful is a very different word than wishful. It was a wistful fantasy that I knew would never be true. The love that Ed and I shared − and we did come to a very wonderful place at the end of his life − was our unconditional love for our son [Wolfgang Van Halen]. My son was losing his father, I was in a relationship that was terribly wrong for me, and I was holding on to some sort of lifeline because of the years I had with Ed. I was madly in love with him when I met him, but our love changed. He felt like a big brother to me that I just wanted the best for by the time he got very sick. All I wanted to do was make it okay for Ed, make it okay for Wolfie.

"You fantasize and romanticize what you know really never could be."

Two years ago, Valerie reflected on the special connection she had with her late ex-husband, telling the "A Spoonful Of Paolo" online talk show: "Ed and I had our relationship — ups and downs. We treated each other badly; we treated each other wonderfully. It was a very full 40 years. And we have an amazing son [Wolfgang Van Halen] that we both adored. I still adore him, and I know that Ed still does too. I get to be here for both of us, to support Wolfie."

Regarding Wolfgang's nomination for a Grammy Award for his band MAMMOTH WVH's song "Distance", Valerie said: "When he was nominated, it was just so hard because I really wanted to talk to Ed, because I know how proud… If anybody was prouder of Wolfie than me, then it was gonna be Ed. We were in competition for who could be more proud."

Valerie also talked about how she got goosebumps feeling Eddie's presence one morning in a flock of birds outside her home.

"I still don't think that I've seen signs from my mom or my dad, but maybe I have and I didn't realize it or I wasn't keeping an eye out for it," she said. "But I think the signs are always there and we don't even realize it.

"Yeah, that flock of birds kind of freaked me out," she continued. "Because when I made the little pact with Ed about we're gonna see two birds, or was it three? Then I forgot. Was it two? Or was it three? When I said, 'Screw it. Then send a whole flock of birds.' And literally a whole flock of birds just went right before my eyes. [I was, like,] 'Okay, okay. I get it. You're here.' And then the dreams that happened. It's kind of amazing.

"I do feel his presence, and then I don't," Bertinelli added. "So I'm hoping that he's in a place where he's being able to go over his magical life that he had and not beat himself up so much, and think of all the good things that he did, and not be in pain any longer — physical or emotional — because he was in a lot of emotional pain."

Bertinelli split with Van Halen in 2002 after 21 years of marriage. They officially divorced in 2007. Eddie then went on to marry Janie Liszewski in 2009, while Valerie also remarried, tying the knot with Tom Vitale in 2011. Valerie told People magazine that both marriages were struggling before Eddie's death. She eventually filed for separation from Vitale in November 2021.

In her previous book, "Enough Already: Learning To Love The Way I Am Today", Valerie wrote about saying goodbye to Eddie when the legendary guitarist died from cancer. She and Wolfgang, 33, were by his side in his final moments.

"I love you are the last words Ed says to Wolfie and me and they are the last words we say to him before he stops breathing," Bertinelli wrote.

Eddie died in October 2020 at the age of 65. The legendary VAN HALEN guitarist passed away at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California.

Eddie was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000 and had tongue surgery. He later battled lung cancer and had been receiving radiation treatment in Germany. Things took a turn for the worse in early 2019 when Eddie got in a motorcycle accident. He was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumor, and received gamma knife radiosurgery to treat the illness.

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