“The last thing Ed really wanted” why Eddie Van Halen’s family ordered pizza to his hospital room shortly after he died

The legendary guitarist’s ex wife, Valerie Bertinelli, reflects on the final meal her and her sons would share with Eddie.

Eddie Van Halen onstage in 2015, photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

Eddie Van Halen onstage in 2015. Image: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

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The sad passing of Eddie Van Halen in 2020 shook the guitar world. But in a recent interview with People, Van Halen’s ex wife, actress and author Valerie Bertinelli, has reflected on the more personal impact that EVH’s death at 65 had on his nearest and dearest – and the simple but touching way his family paid tribute to the legendary guitarist in the hours after his passing.

“I didn’t want to believe it was happening,” she admits. “Even while it was happening, I wasn’t believing it was happening.”

The guitarist’s family were with him til the very end; EVH’s second wife, Janie Liszewski, his brother, Alex Van Halen, and son Wolfgang were also by his side when Eddie passed away due to complications related to throat cancer. And, a short while after Eddie died, the group decided that they would order a pizza to the hospital room where he had passed.

“I forget who suggested it, but we were like, ‘should we have pizza?’… Because he couldn’t eat, and the last thing Ed really wanted was pizza,” Bertinelli recalls. “He loved pizza and burritos, so we had pizza in his hospital room. I hope people don’t think that’s morbid.”

The meal was a solemn one, but a time to reflect on Eddie’s love. “He knew how much I loved him,” she tells People. “I knew how much he loved me. The last words he said to me and to Wolfie were, ‘I love you.’ Ed was very giving with his heart. He wore it on his sleeve.”

While Bertinelli and Van Halen divorced, they retained an amicable relationship – she even attended Van Halen’s wedding to Liszewski in 2009 – and  takes comfort in the fact that the two of them would always love one another.

“I continued for years to rewrite the facts in my head and build them into some sort of fantasy,” she reflected. “But now I know we were never going to get back together. We were becoming kinder souls to one another. Our bond was the unconditional love we had for our son.”


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