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Valerie Bertinelli on grieving Eddie Van Halen: 'We had some beautiful times'

“The best of you gets remembered," she said of her late ex-husband.
Valerie Bertinelli;Eddie Van Halen [& Wife]
Actress Valerie Bertinelli and husband, musician Eddie Van Halen. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)Time Life Pictures / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

It’s been nearly four months since the death of her ex-husband and close friend, and Friday, Valerie Bertinelli shared how she’s finding a way to “survive this new normal” as she moves through her grief.

The actress, 60, went on Instagram Live to talk about her immense grief over losing rocker Eddie Van Halen and to empathize with others going through similar losses this year, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Valerie Bertinelli;Eddie Van Halen [& Wife]
Van Halen and Bertinelli.Ann Clifford / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

“This whole year has been, unfortunately, about death and grieving, and losing and loss, and too many people have lost too many things,” Bertinelli said, speaking emotionally about Van Halen to mindfulness coach Angie Johnsey. Van Halen died after a battle with cancer last year at the age of 65. The pair were married for nearly 40 years and shared one son, Wolfgang, now 29.

Bertinelli described their relationship as "messy," but that "the best of you gets remembered," which is how she remembers Van Halen.

Bertinelli and Van Halen lift up their son, Wolf, on the beach.
Bertinelli and Van Halen lift up their son, Wolf, on the beach.Valerie Bertinelli / Instagram

“We had some very difficult, very challenging times, but we had some beautiful times too. And the lovely thing about grief — the gift that it gives you — is that it’s so much easier to remember the beautiful moments, than the challenging and the difficult moments that you have with that person.”

Bertinelli added that she hopes to live on through her son “Wolfie," much like Van Halen’s memory lives on through them both. Bertinelli and her son celebrated what would’ve been Van Halen’s 66th birthday earlier this week, writing in a post, “I will see you in our next life my love.”

Bertinelli told Johnsey she has been moving through the stages of grief, and has been reminding herself that grief can be a lesson.

“While you’re suffering, remember that good can come from this,” she told the audience on Instagram. “That you will learn a lot through your suffering.”

She also encouraged her fans to have patience with themselves, especially if they are also experiencing loss.

“Sometimes it’s as little as just getting out of bed and brushing your teeth,” she said. “And that can move yourself forward. You’re going through hell, and you’re going to keep going, because you can. You can keep going.”