Eddie Van Halen’s wife has written a heartbreaking tribute to her late husband, who died yesterday after a long battle with throat cancer.
The legendary Van Halen guitarist, 65, and his wife Janie Liszewski, 50, have been married for 11 years, and she was by his side yesterday when he died in a Santa Monica hospital.
“My heart and soul have been shattered into a million pieces,” Liszewski wrote on her Instagram page alongside a photo of the pair lying on a beach together.
“I never knew it was possible to cry so many tears or feel such incredible sadness. Our journey together has not always been an easy one but in the end and always we have a connection and love that will always be. Saying goodbye is the hardest thing I have ever had to do so instead I say so long, I will see you again soon in a place with no pain or sorrow.”
Doctors reportedly discovered Eddie’s throat cancer had moved to his brain and other organs in the last week and his condition rapidly deteriorated.
Eddie’s son Wolfgang, 29, who is the bassist for Van Halen, announced the news on social media yesterday, saying Eddie was the “best father I could ever ask for”.
Eddie’s ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, whom he was married to from 1981 to 2007 and had Wolfgang with, also posted a moving tribute, saying her life “changed forever” when she met him.
“Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin,” Bertinelli wrote. “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.”
The entire entertainment industry is mourning the loss of Van Halen, who is credited for influencing a generation of guitarists with his self-taught abilities.
Fellow bandmates David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar posted tributes, as well as rock legends Billy Idol, Gene Simmons and Lenny Kravitz.
Eddie formed Van Halen with his beloved brother Alex in 1972 and by the early 1980s, Van Halen was one of the most successful rock acts of the time, with their album 1984 going five-times platinum thanks to hits like Jump, Panama and I’ll Wait.