By Jordan Runtagh
Updated December 01, 2020 03:15 PM

It’s been a decade since Olivia Newton-John‘s boyfriend of nine years, Patrick McDermott, disappeared on a finishing trip off the coast of California. Though time heals many wounds, the 68-year-old singer still bears the scars of the tragic loss.

“Grief has no time period,” she tells PEOPLE Now. “And I think people need to know that because they feel, ‘Gosh, I should be over this by now.’ But truthfully you’re never really over it.”

Newton-John used her latest album, Liv On, as an expression of the heartache that lingers to this day. “You can bury things and put them away in a drawer and then 10 years later open the drawer and [think] ‘Wow, those feelings are still there!’ It’s still a painful experience. So you draw on all those experiences when you’re writing a song.”

She mentions one in particular, a track called “Stone in My Pocket,” in which she likens grief to a heavy load that must be shouldered at all times. “Sometimes you feel it and sometimes you don’t notice it, but there’s a weight there and you just learn to deal with it and live on.”

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