Valerie Bertinelli is remembering her ex-husband Eddie Van Halen.
Hours after their son Wolfgang Van Halen broke the news on Twitter that the musician had died at 65 Tuesday morning after battling cancer, Bertinelli, 60, spoke out with a statement of her own.
"40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you," the actress wrote, also sharing an old family photo. "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," Bertinelli continued. "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."
Bertinelli and Eddie tied the knot in 1981 and were married for more than 20 years before separating in 2001 and getting divorced in 2007.
They were on good terms at the time of his death and Eddie had attended her wedding to her current husband Tom Vitale.
Earlier in the day, Wolfgang, 29, said that the iconic guitarist was "the best father I could ever ask for."
"Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift," he wrote. "My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop."
Bertinelli responded to her son's post with several broken heart emojis.
A source close to Eddie told PEOPLE earlier on Tuesday that the guitar hero had a rapid decline in health over the past three days and that cancer had "spread to all his organs."
Wolfgang, Bertinelli, and Eddie's wife Janie Liszewski with Eddie at the time of his death, PEOPLE previously reported.
A source close to Eddie told PEOPLE that the musician's family made sure to protect him during the coronavirus pandemic.
"During the quarantine, everyone around Eddie was even more cautious about his health and his family truly protected him," the source says. "He had throat cancer for years but it spread — it was in all his organs."
"The last three days it was a rapid decline," the source adds. “Sadly, the hard-partying lifestyle physically takes its toll on you eventually."
A second insider said, "He's had it for years but nobody knew it was this serious."
Several celebrities joined in the tributes online Tuesday.
"Eddie Van Halen was a guitar superhero. A true virtuoso," wrote John Mayer on Instagram. "A stunningly good musician and composer. Looking up to him as a young kid was one of the driving forces in my needing to pick up a guitar. I was so blown away watching him exert such control and expression over his instrument. Learning to play the guitar taught me so many things, but still absolutely nothing about how to play like Eddie Van Halen. And for that reason, I never stopped watching him in adolescent awe and wonder, and I promise you I never will. So very sad to learn of his passing. My love to his family, his bandmates, his friends and his crew. EVH FOREVER ♥️"
Lenny Kravitz told PEOPLE on Tuesday that Eddie "changed music."
"He changed the perception of the electric guitar," Kravitz said. "He did things with the electric guitar that no one did — he is a pioneer and I mean, the music so incredible. When I was in junior high and high school Van Halen was absolutely everything. And I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to meet him and speak with him. I went to a show a few years ago and sat on the side of the stage and watched him play. It's a great loss. And my condolences go out to his family. He will be remembered as long as we will be able to remember for what he did."
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