Eddie Van Halen’s Final Words to His Family Were ‘I Love You’
The first anniversary of Eddie Van Halen's death has passed, and in her new book, Eddie's first wife, Valerie Bertinelli, has shared more insight into her final moments with the musician who died on Oct. 6, 2020.
In an excerpt from Bertinelli's book, "Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today" provided to People magazine, the actress-turned-Food Network host shared that she told Van Halen, "Maybe next time. Maybe next time, we'll get it right."
The couple wed in 1981 and Bertinelli gave birth to their son Wolfgang in 1991. In 2005, the couple split and their divorce was finalized in 2007. They remained on good terms as both went on to remarry.
In the book, Bertinelli reflects on their relationship, stating, "I loved Ed more than I know how to explain. I loved his soul." She went on to add, "We were portrayed as a mismatch. The bad boy rock star and America's sweetheart but privately, Ed wasn't the person people thought he was and neither was I."
In the excerpt, Bertinelli addresses some of Van Halen's substance abuse issues, stating, "I hated the drugs and alcohol but I never hated him. I saw his pain." That caring continued even after they split and during Eddie's health issues.
She recalls in 2019 the musician asking to speak with her privately, handing her a small bag with a pendant-sized gold bar that he purchased while receiving treatment in Germany.
"I hope you don't think it's weird, you know, that I bought my ex-wife this gift and didn't get my wife anything," he told her with tears in his eyes. "I just love you," she recalled, then writing, "He wants me to know he messed up [during our marriage]. I contributed to our troubles too and I am also sorry."
Though there was love and they remained close, she wrote, "There is no chance we are going to get back together, but I do know if one of us were to open up, the other one would too, and I don't want to get into that."
She continued, "I can't explain the feelings Ed and I had for each other. Who really knows had he not died. I doubt it. I loved him more than I know how to explain and there's nothing sexual about it. It was more than that. And Ed and I understood that ... There is no greater love than what we had between the two of us and with that, we made this beautiful son," she adds.
Bertinelli reveals that she and Wolfgang were at the hospital daily along with Eddie's wife Janie Liszewski and his brother Alex Van Halen as Eddie's final days neared.
"'I love you' are the last words Ed says to Wolfie and me," Bertinelli states in the book, "and they are the last words we say to him before he stops breathing."
Bertinelli's new book, "Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today" is due Jan. 18 and is available to pre-order here.
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