“It’s weird,” the actress-turned-cooking personality revealed during her Thursday appearance on “Today” with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. “Grief shame is something I never thought would happen to me. I don’t want to talk about it right now, but I knew the man for 40 years. I was 20 when I met him. I still loved him. We spent a lot of time together. He’s the father of my son.”
“He’s the father of the greatest gift in my life,” the 60-year-old added, choking up as photos of Wolfgang appeared on screen alongside his late father. “And I miss him. And I’m allowed to miss him.”
Bertinelli said that while the relationship came to an end, their love endured.
“He was a huge part of my life,” she said. “Just because we loved each other didn’t lessen the love that he had for Janie or me for Tom, so it’s a different kind of love. I don’t know how to explain it. Maybe one day I’ll figure it out and write a book about it.”
In January, Bertinelli admitted it was hard adjusting to a life without Van Halen.
“It’s been rough,” she said during her appearance on the “Today” show for a cooking segment. “Very bittersweet. We’re doing OK. We spent the holidays together. I’ll see [son Wolf] later today. We’ve been spending a lot of time together.”
“It’s hard,” the star shared. “I’ve gone to text him a few dozen times and I’m like, ‘Oh I can’t text him right now.’”
At the time of Van Halen’s death, Bertinelli took to Instagram where she paid tribute to the musician.
“40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you,” she wrote. “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.”
Fox News’ Jessica Napoli and The Associated Press contributed to this report.