Eddie Van Halen, legendary rocker of the Van Halen band, died on Oct. 6, 2020, years after receiving a cancer diagnosis, according to CNN. The guitarist was 65 when he passed, and the news devastated many fans. In response, some longtime supporters flocked to rewatch the video of his last concert while others revisited his last words on social media.
Of course, he’s also deeply missed both by his fans and his family. His son, Wolfgang “Wolf” Van Halen, posted a touching tribute to his father, and countless rock stars also from a range of generations and different genres of music sent their condolences. Valerie Bertinelli, the former wife of Van Halen and mother to his son, shared her loss on Twitter on Oct. 6, 2020, and added the cause of death. “You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang,” Bertinelli said. “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.”
However, as events have transpired, Van Halen’s death certificate reveals the real cause of death and things are a little more complicated. Here are the details.
What Eddie Van Halen's death certificate revealed
Eddie Van Halen’s death certificate was obtained by TMZ on Dec. 13, 2020. The outlet noted that the rocker’s cause of death was a stroke and that Van Halen did have underlying health conditions that exacerbated the cause of death.
The death certificate, which was issued by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, also gave other details about Van Halen’s passing. According to TMZ, the guitarist was cremated 22 days after he died and his ashes were given to his son, Wolfgang Van Halen. The rocker’s wish was to have his ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean, off of the coast of Malibu, Calif.
TMZ was the first outlet to break the news and Wolfgang had some choice words for the outlet. In fact, he got quite upset on Twitter about the whole thing — here’s what he had to say about the incident.
Wolfgang Van Halen expressed his frustration
Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, was really upset about TMZ’s publication of his father’s death certificate. He jumped on Twitter on Dec. 13, 2020, and wrote in no uncertain language, “TMZ is scum.” His mother, and Van Halen’s ex-wife, Valerie Bertinelli, responded to her son’s tweet, “And the person who fed them the info is lower than scum.”
Wolfgang wasn’t done, though. In response to a since-deleted tweet from someone else, he wrote: “Oh get f**ked AND blocked. I’ve got every right in the world to call people scum who release private information about my family. F**k them and f**k you.” Then he wrote once more about the whole event. “If you f**k with my family, especially my father who is unable to defend himself, you f**k with me. It’s my job to do so now and I’ll never stop. So if you’ve got a problem with that, you can either learn how to get over it or unfollow me,” Wolfgang tweeted.
Although many appreciate and understand Van Halen’s desire for privacy, LoudWire did point out that death certificates constitute public records.
Wolfgang Van Halen released a song for his dad
Wolfgang Van Halen released his debut single “Distance” in November 2020 to commemorate the passing of his father, Eddie Van Halen, according to Rolling Stone. He also released a music video along with the song, made up of home videos from his childhood with his father in a touching tribute.
Wolfgang noted that all proceeds from the song would go to his father’s favorite charity, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. The foundation provides musical instruments to programs and schools in need, stating via its website that it aims to drive “creativity and expression through playing music.” The song was a huge hit and comments thanked Wolfgang for sharing his grief. One person wrote in the comments on YouTube, “Right on Wolf. You drop a rock into the pond and it ripples out forever, until it comes back. Your dad inspired me and a million others. You’re doing the same. Lots of love brother.” Someone else wrote, “Makes me wish Eddie Van Halen was my dad while growing up.”
At least Wolfgang is getting the chance to creatively express his grief, and we it’s clear fans appreciate the heartfelt tune.
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