The world has mourned the death of Olivia Newton-John since August 8, when her family broke the devastating news on social media. While the official cause of death has yet to be confirmed, Newton-John’s husband, John Easterling, praised the “Grease” star’s strength and activism during the 30 years she lived with breast cancer. “Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicines continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund,” Easterling wrote on Facebook.
According to LabAroma, Newton-John and Easterling co-founded the organization, combining their experience and knowledge as herbalists doing research in the Amazon since 1976. It was through this shared passion for finding alternative healing methods that Newton-John and Easterling found each other. While they had met briefly around the time of Newton-John’s cancer diagnosis, they reunited around 2007 during a trip to the South American rainforest, People reported. “I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with him and then bam!” she said.
Newton-John and Easterling returned to the Amazon on June 21, 2008 to make their relationship official, tying the knot in the mountainous people, according to Incan traditions. “Seems like I married the man of my dreams yesterday at the winter solstice in Peru,” she wrote on Instagram to mark their 12th anniversary in 2020. After a series of complicated relationships, Newton-John had found her later in life. “You’re never too old to find love,” she told People. Easterling’s tribute to her shows how deep their bond was.
John Easterling thanks the “grace of God” for Olivia Newton-John
John Easterling never took his time with Olivia Newton-John for granted. On Aug. 10, the herbalist took to Newton-John’s Instagram to pay tribute to his wife and used the space to celebrate her spirit. “Your breadth of truly caring about people, nature and all living things almost dwarfs what is humanly possible,” he wrote. Easterling saw the 15 years he spent alongside Newton-John as a blessing. “It is only the grace of God that has allowed me to share the depth and passion of her being for so long,” he added.
Easterling also marveled at how special their love was, noting that their relationship just flowed. “We never had to ‘work’ on it,” he said. “We were in awe of this great mystery and accepted the experience of our love as past, present and forever.” Newton-John certainly shared this vision of their relationship. “I found the love of my life at 59 and 60! I’m grateful,” she told People in 2016.
Also telling is that Newton-John’s most recent Instagram post honored Easterling. On August 5, the actor and singer uploaded a photo of Easterling with his arms around her as she smiles for the camera. In the caption, she only noted that the snap was a flashback. Her contribution becomes even more meaningful when we consider that Newton-John rarely used her social media to share glimpses of her personal life, preferring to use it to promote her work and activism.