Why Eddie Van Halen’s Family Celebrated With Pizza After His Death

Why Eddie Van Halen’s Family Celebrated With Pizza After His Death | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via Billboard / Youtube

October 2020 brought a wave of grief to the music world. Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen passed away after a battle with throat cancer. Surrounded by loved ones in a hospital room, his absence left a gaping hole. In the midst of their heartbreak, his family found a unique way to remember him – with pizza.

Valerie Bertinelli, Eddie’s ex-wife, shared a glimpse into the raw emotions of those final moments with People magazine. Grief rendered the situation surreal. “I didn’t want to believe it was happening,” she recounted, “Even while it was happening, I wasn’t believing it was happening.” 

But amidst the tears, an unexpected source of comfort emerged – their love for Eddie, and his love for… pizza?

“So We Had Pizza in His Hospital Room”

Eddie’s fight with throat cancer ended in 2020. Surrounded by loved ones in the hospital, the legendary guitarist passed away at 65. The room included his brother Alex, his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, their son Wolfgang, and other close family members. In the face of this immense loss, they found solace in Eddie’s favorite food.

“Honestly, I can’t remember who brought it up,” Bertinelli shared, “but the idea was, ‘Should we get pizza?'” It was a bittersweet suggestion.

Eddie wouldn’t be able to enjoy it, and pizza probably wasn’t on his mind in his final moments.  “But he loved pizza and burritos,” Bertinelli continued, “so we had pizza in his hospital room. I hope people don’t think that’s morbid..”

A Love That Endured

Though Valerie and Eddie’s marriage ended in divorce in 2005, the love they shared remained strong. They had tied the knot back in 1980, but after four years of separation, decided to go their separate ways. Despite the official split, the bond never truly dissolved.

Bertinelli shared a touching memory, highlighting the enduring affection. “He knew how much I loved him,” she said, “and I knew how much he loved me.” The final words they exchanged were a testament to that love. 

“‘I love you,'” she recounted, her voice filled with emotion. “Ed was very giving with his heart. He wore it on his sleeve.”

A Bond Forged in Love

Despite their separation, Eddie and Valerie remained connected through their son, Wolfgang.  Bertinelli acknowledges a lingering desire for reconciliation, but ultimately came to terms with the reality of their relationship.

“I continued for years,” she confessed, “to rewrite the facts in my head and build them into some sort of fantasy.” However, time brought acceptance.

“But now, I know we were never going to get back together,” she continued, “We were becoming kinder souls to one another.” The true foundation of their enduring bond wasn’t a romantic connection, but the unconditional love they shared for their son.

Wolfgang’s Heartfelt Tribute

The news of Eddie’s passing came in a heart-wrenching social media post by Wolfgang. Having shared the stage and a deep bond with his father, Wolfgang struggled to express the immensity of his loss.

“I can’t believe I’m having to write this,” he began, “but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning.” Wolfgang went on to express his deep admiration for his father. He wrote, “he was the best father I could ever ask for.” 

Every moment spent together, on stage or off, held immense value for the younger Van Halen.  “Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift,” Wolfgang went on. He concluded the post with a raw expression of grief, “My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”