Two of the women who were closest to Eddie Van Halen have shared heart-wrenching tributes to the late guitar legend. His wife, Janie Liszewski Van Halen, and his ex-wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli, both posted tributes to the rock icon following his death on Tuesday.
Most reports suggest that the Van Halen guitarist passed away following a battle with throat cancer. However, Bertinelli mentioned lung cancer in her Instagram post, perhaps confirming a report by TMZ that the cancer had spread to other parts of his body.
Bertinelli, best known for her role on the TV sitcom One Day at a Time, married Eddie in 1981. They separated in 2001, and divorced in 2007. The couple had one son, Wolfgang, who would eventually become Van Halen’s bassist.
Along with sharing a photo of herself with Eddie and a baby Wolfgang, Bertinelli posted the following note on Instagram:
“40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you. You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang. Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin. I’m so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love.”
Janie, a publicist whom Eddie married in 2009, posted a picture of her and Eddie’s feet in the sand. She penned the following open letter to late husband:
“My husband, my love, my Peep,
My heart and soul have been shattered into a million pieces. I never knew it was possible to cry so many tears or feel such incredible sadness. Our journey together has not always been an easy one but in the end and always we have a connection and love that will always be. Saying goodbye is the hardest thing I have ever had to do so instead I say so long, I will see you again soon in a place with no pain or sorrow. Please watch over [our dog] Kody and I. We love you and miss you so very much.
Love, your PooPee”
Eddie’s son Wolfgang had previously commented, “He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”
The tributes from Valerie Bertinelli and Janie Liszewski Van Halen follow dozens of posts from Eddie’s music peers. David Lee Roth and other members of Van Halen paid their respects, as have a number of fellow guitar icons.