Valerie Bertinelli discusses her brother’s death at 17 months: ‘My family kept the tragedy locked inside’

Tragedy struck Valerie Bertinelli’s family earlier than she was born.

The actress is the third of 5 youngsters born to Nancy, a stay-at-home mother, and Andrew, an govt at General Motors.

“When I came into the world, my mom was grieving,” the 60-year-old informed People journal on Wednesday about her upbringing in Wilmington, Del.

“She was pregnant with me when my brother Mark died,” she continued. “He was only 17 months old. He died in the most horrible way. They were visiting a friends’ farm and he wandered off unsupervised and drank poison out of a bottle that wasn’t supposed to have poison in it. It was a soda pop bottle.”

According to the outlet, the former “One Day at a Time” star wouldn’t study Mark’s death till her early teenage years.

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“The subject was too painful,” she mentioned. “My parents kept the tragedy locked inside.”

It can be years later, after her grandmother’s death, when Bertinelli returned to Delaware for the burial and gained a brand new understanding of the nice loss her mother and father endured.

“My grandmother was buried not far from Mark’s grave,” she mentioned. “I was holding Wolfie [her son with first husband Eddie Van Halen] who was 17 months old and thinking, ‘How did my mom survive?’ She had to keep going and I learned that from her.”

“She had to carry on,” mentioned Bertinelli. “She had a very hard life. She always tried to make the best of everything. [That day,] I grew more in love with [my parents], knowing what they had gone through.”

Bertinelli mentioned that the lesson of carrying on was “ingrained in me from a very young age.”

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Valerie Bertinelli in 2019.
(Photo by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images)

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“I felt like I had to make everyone happy,” she identified. “It’s a giant job for a bit child.”

Bertinelli’s father handed away in 2016. Her mom died final June.

“I know they both did the best they could,” she mentioned.

The star admitted she thinks of her mother typically.

“Every so often, I still want to call her up and ask her about a recipe,” she mentioned.

Bertinelli mentioned she’s sharing her struggles in hopes it should assist different others.

“You can’t make everyone such as you – that’s scientifically inconceivable – however you possibly can join with individuals who want to listen to your story, and my hope is I hope I can join with somebody who wants to listen to my story.

“More than ever we need to treat ourselves with kindness and it starts with ourselves,” she added.

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