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Valerie Bertinelli tears up discussing Eddie Van Halen's death: 'It's been rough'

In an appearance Monday on TODAY, Bertinelli opened up about how she and son Wolfgang have been coping since the death of her ex-husband.
/ Source: TODAY

Valerie Bertinelli is still coming to grips with the death of her ex-husband, guitar legend Eddie Van Halen, who died in October at the age of 65.

The former “One Day at a Time” star, 60, teared up during a Monday appearance on TODAY when Hoda Kotb asked how she was doing.

“I don’t know why I’m tearing up. You know when you hear voices and you see people that you feel the connection with and — you guys always make me tear up. It’s been rough. Very bittersweet,” she said.

Bertinelli and Van Halen, who married in 1981 and divorced in 2007, share one child together, son Wolfgang, 29. She said on TODAY that they are both trying to soldier on.

“We’re doing OK,” she said. “We spent the holidays together. I’ll see him later today. We’ve been spending a lot of time together.”

She welled up as a photo of her with her son and ex-husband splashed across the screen.

“It’s hard,” she added. “I’ve gone to text to text him a few dozen times. I was like, ‘Oh, I can’t text him right now.’”

Bertinelli also took a moment to thank Carson Daly, who has called Van Halen one of the best guitarists in history, for an interview he did with Wolfgang in the weeks after his father’s passing.

“It really touched my heart. And you handled him and you were so good to him, and I just want to, as a mom, thank you so much,” she said.

At the time, Wolfgang opened up to Carson about his personal grief since losing his father, saying some days are better than others.

“It doesn't seem like the pain is ever really gonna go away. You just kinda figure out how to carry it a bit better.”

Bertinelli and her son have remained close after a tumultuous 2020, getting to spend the holidays together.

“It was really quite magical,” she said later Monday morning on the 3rd hour of TODAY. “I wasn't able to spend his birthday with him because we went into shutdown in March. It was the first birthday in 29 years I didn't get to see him, so we really made an effort to keep ourselves healthy and safe and masked, and we were able to spend the holidays together. It's a very much-needed time for us.”

Bertinelli was among many who honored the guitar icon after his death. She shared a series of Instagram posts, including one that featured a photo from the night they met.