Eddie Van Halen's ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli says that she has been "grief shamed" over the way she has dealth with his death.
"It's weird. Grief shame is something I never thought would happen to me and I won't talk about it right now," she said on the "Today" show last Thursday (February 18). "But I knew the man for 40 years. I was 20 when I met him. I still loved him. We spent a lot of time together. He's the father of my son. He's the father of the greatest gift in my life."
Bertinelli split with Van Halen in 2002 after 21 years of marriage. They officially divorced in 2007. Eddie then went on to marry Janie Liszewski in 2009, while Valerie also remarried, tying the knot with Tom Vitale in 2011.
"I miss him," Valerie said about Eddie. "And I'm allowed to miss him. He was a huge part of my life. Just because we loved each other didn't lessen the love that he had for Janie, or me for Tom. So it's a different kind of love. I don't know how to explain it. Maybe one day I'll figure it out and write a book about it."
The iconic guitarist passed away in October at the age of 65. His death was announced by Eddie and Valerie's son, VAN HALEN bassist Wolfgang Van Halen.
On the day of the VAN HALEN guitarist's passing, Valerie shared a photo of her, Eddie and Wolfgang, taken while Wolfgang was was still toddler, and she included the following message: "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."
Eddie died at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Following his death, fans left flowers at his childhood home on Las Lunas Street in Pasadena, California. Additional flowers, candles and fan mementos were placed on Allen Avenue where Eddie and his brother, VAN HALEN drummer Alex, scratched their band's name into the wet cement of a sidewalk when they were teenagers.
"One of the many reasons that Ed and I split up is to give Wolfie a better vision of what two people who are supposedly in love treat each other like," Valerie told Oprah.com. "Ed and I weren't treating each other like two people that loved each other, and that's what Wolfie was seeing. So I'm hoping that when he does get married and start a life for himself, that he takes his time and marries a friend and not just someone that he can't keep his hands off."
Valerie went on to say that leaving Eddie wasn't an easy choice. "We were all very raw from 9/11, and you heard all these stories of people coming together," she said. "They hated each other and they were back together and divorces weren't happening anymore. And I'm, like, 'Am I the only one in the world that wants out now because of 9/11? I'm not going to live my life if it's that tenuous. That's not how I want to live my life anymore.'"
VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.