News of Olivia Newton-John’s death shocked the globe when it was announced by her family via Facebook Monday. Since then, there has been a flood of support and final farewells by friends, fans, and industry members alike, including one from her Grease co-star John Travolta. Now, her own niece is opening up about the 73-year-old’s final days.
Tottie Goldsmith explained to Australia’s 9 Now News that her aunt was in a very fragile state leading up to her death, all on top of her existing breast cancer, which she had battled for decades:
“It wasn’t just the cancer that got her, it was other complications, being in a hospital and with a very susceptible immune system. She got secondary infections. She really went down in the past five, six days.”
We know that her last moments were spent at her ranch in Southern California, so her hospital visit must have been not long before — within that five to six day window.
Tottie revealed the actress had been taking cannabinoids leading up to her eventual death to help ease the pain, but persistence made life difficult and uncomfortable, noting:
“It’s really helped her, but later on it wasn’t enough.”
She added her famous aunt “really struggled with a lot of pain.” It’s difficult to think about how much our beloved Sandy suffered, with nothing really doing much to help her. And considering Olivia’s condition, her niece stated she wasn’t too shocked by the Sunday news, confessing:
“It’s not a shock, we’ve known how sick she’s been, especially the last five days.”
It sounds like her recent hospital visit is really what ended up doing the Xanadu singer in, but it wasn’t such a surprise. While her Australia-based niece was unfortunately unable to physically get to the States to see her aunt one last time, she revealed that she did share one special final conversation with her over the phone thanks to her uncle, John Easterling:
“I couldn’t get to America in time and I wanted to say goodbye, so I asked him if he could hold the phone up to her ear, but he got me on FaceTime so I managed to see her.”
“I told her all the things I needed to say. She was leaving us but I could feel like she got it.”
We’re so glad Tottie got to have that moment with her aunt. She also added that before the Hopelessly Devoted singer’s death, she asked her one final question:
“I said to her, ‘Are you afraid of dying?’ and she said, ‘I’m not afraid. I’ve done more in my life that I could have ever imagined.’”
Powerful words — she held on to the end, just like she sang. We’re hopelessly devastated by the icon’s death, but at least she’s no longer in pain. Rest in peace, Olivia Newton-John.
[Images via Tattie Goldsmith/Instagram, Movieclips/YouTube & MEGA/WENN]