Valerie Bertinelli Shares Photos of the Night She Met Late Ex-Husband Eddie Van Halen

@wolfiesmom via Instagram

Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen has recently lost his life to throat cancer at 65 years old. Though it was a long battle with the disease, it doesn’t make it any less devastating for fans, family, and even ex-family.

In honor of his death, his ex-wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli, shared a series of throwback photos on her Instagram stories from when she was in a relationship with Van Halen, including the photo where her “life changed forever.”

The two got married in 1981 before they separated in 2001 and eventually divorced in 2007. It was a mutual; and amicable decision and decided to remain good friends—Eddie even attended her second wedding to her current husband, Tom Vitale. They also share their son named Wolfgang.

“40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you,” Bertinelli posted on her Twitter. “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.”

In her photo tribute was a rare snapshot from the night they met in 1980. It shows Bertinelli giving Eddie a hug. The two were able to connect thanks to Bertinelli’s brothers convincing her to attend one of Eddie’s concerts in hopes that they would be able to go backstage.

“I took a look at the 8-track cassette that was in the back of my Corvette, and I saw a picture of Ed, and I went, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ll be going. He’s a cutie,’” she told Oprah Winfrey in 2008.

She sure got what she wanted—the two hit it off right off the bat and Eddie called her the next day to ask her out. As they say, the rest was history.

She also shared another photo from the same day of the two of them with their arms around each other, and Eddie has a bag of M&Ms in his mouth. Bertinelli captioned the photo, “Shreveport, L.A., August 28, 1980.”

A few months later, the two were spending Christmas together, as seen in a “Christmas 1980” photo that Bertinelli also included.

The photos are all pretty precious if we do say so ourselves! They may be ex-es, but you can tell the love was there. To hear and see more about her tribute and their relationship, check out the video below.

How sweet are these throwbacks and tribute?