Marie Osmond's son Michael Blosil tragically committed suicide just over eight months ago. But it might as well have been yesterday, given her obviously and understandably still-raw grief, which was made very apparent during her sit-down with Oprah Winfrey this morning.
Everybody got a hankie? OK, then...
Osmond, who couldn't stop the tears from flowing on and off throughout the interview, started at the beginning: on the morning of Feb. 26, when, thanks to mother's intuition and before the tragedy had time to unfold, "I really believed that something was wrong."
When she later received a telephone call from the coroner's office, she said, "I knew...Your life changes."
"The particulars are...some things are so in stone, and other things are like a wave that comes in and out of your life," she said of her memories of the day. "I've been through some tough things in my life, Oprah. This is probably the hardest thing."
Marie stressed multiple times what a considerate child Michael was, calling him a gentleman, her "angel," and saying that while he battled depression and spent time in and out of rehab, "he was not a depressed kid...on the outside."
Michael's battle with drugs began when he was just 12 years old, but Marie made clear-- as did the coroner --that they were not a direct factor in his death.
"My son was clean when he jumped," she said. "There were no drugs in his system, but I believe the ramifications were there."
It was also not the first time he had made an attempt on his life. Marie said that during her stint on Dancing With the Stars, he tried to commit suicide (think about that the next time you're ready to crack a joke about Faintgate ).
"He promised he would never do anything like that again and I believed him," she said. "Whatever his reality was, I do believe that there are moments when you slip into insanity and you no longer think rationally. I believe that's what happened."
After his death, like any mother, Marie struggled. Particularly when well-wishing friends and strangers tried to console her.
"People say things like, 'Well, at least you have seven more children.' No, I have eight children. My heart will never put anybody else in that place but Michael."
As for her decision to resume working just weeks after her son's death, which was met by some with raised eyebrows, if not outright criticism, Marie said it was the best way she could cope.
"It was really hard. It was a calculated decision. I am a female in the entertainment business who has been working 48 years consistently. The stage is my safe place. It doesn't scare me like it scares people. And I knew if I didn't get back onstage I may never get back onstage."
Marie also confirmed that Michael's father did not attend the funeral, but not because of "a political thing, this was to make my children comfortable." Her kids, she said, were the ones who made the decision, putting it to her that if he came, they wouldn't.
She also revealed that it was she and her daughters who prepared Michael's body for the funeral, because, "I wanted Mike to look like my Mike, not a version of him. It's a beautiful thing and it was very healing for my daughters."
During the hour, Marie also addressed recent tabloid reports that she was abused during her marriage. While she didn't directly answer the question, she did say that her marriage contained "a lot of pain, a lot of sorrow, a lot of trying, a lot of effort."
"At this point with my children--I still have four children at home--I had to move forward...As you move into a second marriage, you have to make sure...You marry at the level of your self-esteem."
As for another persistent rumor which has resurfaced given the climate of the last few weeks, that her son Michael was gay, Marie also took time out to clear that up.
"Well, it's not that I wanted to clear it up as much as...my son was not gay," she said. "He wanted to be married and have a family and travel all over the world. And it wouldn't matter if he was, I have a daughter who's gay.
"She was the most offended by [the rumors]," Osmond went on, saying that her daughter felt the story was like believing, "What, everyone who's gay commits suicide?"
Marie's pain was evident throughout the interview and, by her account, will never get better. It's a comforting thought to her, and while she said, "God gives us respites," the forthcoming holidays are unlikely to be one of them.
"They're gonna suck," she said. "I am not there yet."
Instead, she said she "once again made a calculated decision" to keep herself and her family busy over the holiday season, taking a job with Donnie in New York. Her oldest son will be performing in England, and her other children said they did not want to spend Christmas in the Las Vegas home in which they celebrated, with Michael, last year.
"My children will have a little diversion and I think that's important for them."
At the end of the hour, Marie took to the stage to belt out an opera song that she sings in concert every night in honor of her late son.
"I know I'll see him again because of what I believe," she said before starting--for the first time--the tune.
Just a few seconds in, however, she became overwhelmed with emotion, began to cry and stopped the music. "One more time," she asked, as the music started over to the audience's supportive applause.
"It's very hard, very hard," she said afterward. "But it's a gift of love for him."