Meat Loaf’s Wife & Kids Speak Out On ‘Gut-Wrenching’ Grief Following Performer’s Death

Meat Loaf’s family is opening up about their devastating loss days after the performer died from coronavirus last Thursday. He was 74 years old.

In a heart-wrenching statement to People, the rock star’s widow Deborah Gillespie shared on Monday that she was by her husband’s side when he took his last breath in a New York hospital, saying:

“The grief I feel over the loss of my husband is gut-wrenching. I was lying close to Michael [Aday] when he took his last breath and my sadness is beyond words. I’ve always called him by his given name because I didn’t see him as ‘Meat.’ I feel much gratitude for the outpouring of love I have received from around the world.”

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After seeing the outpouring of love for her husband on social media, she added:

“He meant so much to so many people, and it gave me joy to be able to share him with the world. As his wife, I also want everyone to know how much he meant to me as a husband.”

Deborah went on to share a bit of their love story, reflecting:

“For me, it was always about him. From the day we met, he was my world and I loved him. There wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t tell the other how much we loved them. Not a day that we didn’t hug each other.”

The couple tied the knot in 2007, so that’s a lot of days and a lot of hugs to share. While it’s difficult to say goodbye to a family member, she wouldn’t change their love story for the world, she said:

“I waited until later in life to get married because I was waiting for the right man. And oh boy, was he ever the right man for me! I realize how blessed I am to have shared my life with such an incredible person. He didn’t hesitate to let me know how much I was appreciated, and often sweetly told me, ‘You’re a good wife.’ I will miss hearing that.”

As she looks back on the time she got to spend with the Fight Club star, it’s the little things that strike her the most:

“Some of my fondest memories will always be about how we so often laughed, and how we brought out the silliness and playfulness in each other. Michael was a hugger–such a physically affectionate and kind man, and I’m grateful that he brought out those traits in me.”

Gillespie concluded:

“Our life together was an adventure. He was my best friend, my confidant, my lover and I miss him terribly already. As much as my heart is in pain right now, my heart is also so full of the love and glory we shared together. I will love you forever, Michael.”

Meanwhile, Aday’s daughter Pearl took to Instagram with two tributes to her father. The first photo was shared alongside lyrics to one of the performer’s most famous songs, Bat Out Of Hell, writing:

“And the last thing I see is my heart/Still beating, still beating/Breaking out of my body/And flying away/Like a bat out of hell. We love you, Dad.”

She then added a throwback family photo, saying:

“I love you always, no matter what. I love you with my whole heart. We got you. Forever.”

Pearl was adopted by Michael after he married his first wife Leslie Aday. Pearl’s husband, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, paid tribute to the singer on IG, as well, musing:

“There are so many stories to tell, and I know they will all be told over time. For now, what I know is that Meat’s legacy will live on through his family – Pearl, Amanda and Revel [their son]. Their forever love for their father/grandfather (Papa Meat) outweighs the heaviness of their hearts. ……… Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of love, we feel it. ……….. I love you Meat. ………….”

Take a look at the Instagram tributes (below).

Pearl’s sister Amanda told People on Saturday that her father was a “complex man with a lot of passion, who wore his heart on his sleeve.” While they “lived a very dichotomous life” growing up on tour buses, he was an incredible dad back home.

“It was home and he was just dad. He wasn’t Meat Loaf anymore.”

Whether he was directing their school plays or coaching softball, Meat Loaf was a hands-on father despite his public persona.

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Amanda continued:

“If we didn’t get good grades, we were grounded, and all of that stuff. So, it was very much, when we weren’t out on tour living this crazy life, it was very important to him that we were grounded in our home.”

Getting candid about his final moments, Amanda insisted she is “very thankful” she and Pearl were able to say goodbye to their father in person before he passed away, noting:

“As soon as we could, we just went to his bedside at the hospital and just sat with him and held his hand.”

So, so tough. It’s clear that Michael meant a great deal to his family members, as well as friends and fans. We’re wishing them lots of love as they continue to grieve his death.

[Image via Eugene Powers/WENN & Pearl Aday/Instagram]