An Emotional Post From Son to Father
- Wolf Van Halen spoke about seeing his father in his dream and wanting to hug him until he wakes up again.
- Eddie Van Halen died in October at the age of 65 after spending 20 years battling four forms of cancer – tongue, throat, lung and skin.
- Eddie believed his guitar pics caused his throat and tongue cancer despite being an admitted chain smoker and heavy drinker.
On Instagram, Wolf wrote about missing his dad as the one-year anniversary of Eddie’s death draws near this October.Read More
“I’ve had so many dreams lately with pop and I are just doing normal things and then I realize it’s a dream, stop whatever I am doing, and hug him for as long as I can until I wake up,” wrote Wolf.
“I miss the fuck out of him I can’t believe he’s not here anymore. It doesn’t feel real.”
Wolf then added: “I’m doing my best, Pop.”
Among those who commented on the post was Wolf’s mother, actress Valerie Bertinelli.
“He is so proud of you. Love you sweet boy,” wrote Bertinelli, who split from Eddie in 2005 but remained close with her ex until his death.
Wolf was just nine when his father was first diagnosed with tongue cancer.
The guitarist and songwriter had a third of his tongue removed during surgery in 2000, but at that point the cancer had already spread to his throat.
Despite years of heavy drinking, drug use, and chain-smoking, Eddie was insistent that it was the metal and brass guitar pics that he put in his mouth during shows that likely caused his cancer.
Eddie based this assumption on the fact that he developed tongue and throat cancer, but not lung cancer.
A death certificate issued two months after his passing reveals, however, that he was suffering from both lung cancer and skin cancer.
SurvivorNet obtained a copy of that document, which lists Eddie’s cause of death as a cerebrovascular accident (stroke). Among the underlying conditions listed were pneumonia, lung cancer, myelodysplastic syndrome and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
Myelodysplastic syndrome, which Eddie had been suffering from for six months prior to his death, is a disorder which causes a disruption in blood cell production. It often occurs in response to cancer treatments, which Eddie had been receiving in the years before his death.
Eddie had been diagnosed with lung cancer three years prior to his passing, according to the certificate.
Eddie was just 65 at the time of his death, but even at such a young age was already one of the most accomplished musicians of his generation.
In addition to his 12 albums with Van Halen, the Norwegian-born rockstar also performed one of the most famous guitar solos of all time on Michael Jackson’s Beat It and had been awarded three separate guitar patents by the USPTO.
His proudest moment, though, was when Wolf joined Van Halen at the age of 15 in 2006. Wolf would tour with his dad for the next 10 years and be featured on the band’s 2012 album, A Different Kind of Truth.
He is now on tour with his new band, Mammoth, opening for Guns N Roses.
Wolf and the band did get some bad news though recently, announcing they would be briefly suspending their performances with the tour on Friday after a member of their crew tested positive for COVID.
Staying Grateful Through Cancer & Cancer Losses
While coping with the loss of his father can’t be easy, Wolf is staying positive through this difficult time and focusing on his work and his art.
Keeping a positive mindset when fighting cancer or mourning the loss of a loved one to the disease is crucial, according to experts.
Dr. Zuri Murrell, an oncologist at Cedar Sinai, previously told SurvivorNet how a positive and grateful attitude can impact prognosis in cancer patients.
“My patients who thrive, even with stage 4 cancer, from the time that they, about a month after they’re diagnosed, I kind of am pretty good at seeing who is going to be OK,” explained Dr. Murrell.
“Now doesn’t that mean I’m good at saying that the cancer won’t grow,” he says. “But I’m pretty good at telling what kind of patient are going to still have this attitude and probably going to live the longest, even with bad, bad disease. And those are patients who, they have gratitude in life.”
Healing Through Music
A healthier way to heal from pain is through art. Wolf has chosen to make playing music part of his healing process, not only because it is a passion of his but also because it reminds him of his father. It is even more poignant because it is something the two men did together for years.
People going through cancer often use music as well to help center themselves and process the difficult emotions that follow a diagnosis. “I have found music and rock ‘n’ roll to be transformational,” survivor Joel Naftelberg previously told SurvivorNet. “Without air guitar, my treatment would have been incredibly sad,” said another music-enthusiast, Marquina Iliev-Piselli.