Valerie Bertinelli lost her ex-husband Eddie Van Halen in 2020, and now the actress is revealing how she said goodbye to the man she calls her "soulmate." PEOPLE reports how Bertinelli reflected on her relationship with Van Halen, as well as his death, in her new memoir, Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today. In an excerpt shared exclusively by the outlet, Bertinelli writes, "I loved Ed more than I know how to explain. I loved his soul."
Speaking about the early years of their relationship, Bertinelli shares, "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." She also speaks candidly about the challenges they faced, writing, "I hated the drugs and the alcohol but I never hated him. I saw his pain." The pair divorced in 2007, and share one child, Wolfgang. When Van Halen was going through cancer treatments that past few years before his death, his ex-wife and son were constantly there to provide support. 'I love you' are the last words Ed says to Wolfie and me," she writes, "and they are the last words we say to him before he stops breathing."
"I can't explain the feelings Ed and I had for each other," Bertinelli says of their complicated relationship. "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." The couple had a tumultuous relationship while married, but grew closer after they split. "There is no greater love than what we had between the two of us and with that, we made this beautiful son," the former Hot in Cleveland star says.
Eddie Van Halen died on Oct. 6, 2020 — at the age of 65 — after a long battle with throat and lung cancer. Wolfgang confirmed the news in an Instagram post, writing, "I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning. He was the best father I could ever ask for."
"Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift," the 29-year-old went on to write. "My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss." Wolf concluded his statement, saying, "I love you so much, Pop." Eddie was the co-founder, primary songwriter and guitarist for Van Halen, a band that also featured his brother Alex on drums. Wolfgang later joined the band, playing bass and singing back-up vocals, in 2006. He has since stated that Van Halen will not continue without his father.