Marie Osmond's son Michael died by suicide in 2010
“[Michael] was a such a joy and a light in my life,” Osmond, 59, tells PEOPLE. “He was that piece in our family that fit us all together.”
Osmond, a teetotaler who has never done drugs, has been open about her son’s previous struggles with substance abuse.
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“Michael did drugs at a young age,” she says. “I think when you start altering the brain, especially during its maturing and growing process, it’s dangerous. It can cause mental issues. And I don’t think there is enough fear about it.”
Michael was away at college when he died in 2010, a fact that Osmond still struggles with.
“I missed the days that he was depressed,” she says. “I couldn’t look him in the eyes.”
And coping with the loss of a child (Osmond has seven other children from her marriages to Stephen Craig and Brian Blosil) is something the veteran singer and actress could have never prepared for.
“You can’t breathe,” she says. “It affects the children [too]. When you’re contemplating something that devastating [as suicide] in your life, you can barely function. But the ripple effect is astronomical.”
Nonetheless, Osmond says she frequently thinks of the life Michael may have lived.
“When I see my children marrying and having families, I wonder where my son would be, if he’d be married or if he’d be a dad,” she says. “He always wanted to be a daddy since he was a little boy.”
But ultimately, Osmond says she’s found a way to live with the loss.
“There is no joy in sorrow, but the joy is to be able to look at somebody who is going through it and tell them, ‘You’ll be okay,’ ” she says. “You have to find a way to breathe again. Mine was my faith. I have great faith, and I know I will see him again.”
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