Olivia Newton-John said she contemplated death 'quite a few times' in a final interview
Olivia Newton-John was candid about her thoughts on death and the afterlife.
The Grease actress and singer, who died Monday at the age of 73, spoke about her mortality on the A Life of Greatness podcast a year before her death. Newton-John battled breast cancer for 30 years.
Asked in the February 2021 conversation if she had contemplated her own death, she replied, "I have quite a few times," adding it was "sooner than I would have wanted," having first been diagnosed in 1992 and then revealing publicly in 2018 that her stage IV breast cancer had spread to her back.
"I mean — we all know we are going to die," the Australia star said. "I think we spend our lives probably much in denial of it."
She continued, "What I feel about it is extremely personal, so I find it hard to put into words. I believe that we are all part of one thing. I've had experiences with — how can I put it? — spirits or spirit life or felt the spirit world or have heard things that I believe there is something that happens. It's almost like we are parts of the a big computer and we go back to the main battery. I don't have a definite definition of what it is. Some people call it 'heaven.' Some call it 'the universe.' I just think there is a great knowingness out there that we become part of."
Newton-John said she hoped "the energies of the people you love are there," but believes "all the love will be there." After all, she continued, the people she knows who have had a near-death experience, including husband John Easterling, "say it's the most unbelievable feeling of love that you've every experienced and you don't want to come back."
"So I'm kind of looking forward to that," she said, adding with a laugh, "Not now but when it happens."
She said of varying beliefs of the afterlife, "they all seem to have the same ending. Either we come back as something else or we go to heaven or we join others in the spirit world. But most humans want to believe that we go on. I don't know if that is so. I hope that I can let people know when it happens if it is."
On Monday, Newton-John's husband announced that she died peacefully at their California ranch.
In an interview with Australia's A Current Affair after the news, Newton-John's niece Tottie Goldsmith recalled once asking her aunt — while she was especially sickly and receiving treatment at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute in Melbourne — if she was "afraid of dying."
"She said, 'Plonker', which was my nickname to her, she said, 'I'm not. I'm not afraid. I've done more in my life than I could have ever imagined.' She honestly never imagined her life would be how it was," Goldsmith said.
Goldsmith also revealed that Newton-John's cancer battle left her with a "very susceptible immune system" and she was susceptible to "secondary infections." Over the last five days, she was especially ill. Goldsmith couldn't make it to the U.S. to say goodbye in person, but did so on FaceTime, with help from Easterling.
"I managed to see her, and told her all the things I needed to say and wanted to say," Goldsmith said.
Newton-John's only daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, has also posted tributes, calling it an honor to be the actress's "baby and best friend."