Yesterday’s Oprah interview with Marie Osmond about the suicide of her son, Michael, (February 2010) was surprisingly honest and filled with parental words of wisdom that come from great loss. At times it was also gut wrenching to watch. When Marie closed the program by singing “Pie Jesus,” from the heart and in tribute to her son (something she now does on stage each night in Las Vegas), the result was stunning and incredibly human.

Watching this program, I couldn’t help but think of my beautiful son. I saw Eric’s face throughout the hour, but especially during Marie’s performance, which included photos of Michael. When the program was over, I sat in the silence of a darkened room and realized how much grief work still remains in my own life eight years after my tremendous loss. Too many tears and words held back to keep others comfortable.

A parent never gets over the death of a child. You just learn how to put one foot in front of the other and go on breathing second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. If you’re lucky, you find the strength to make sense of the senseless by honoring your child’s life and legacy, as our family has with my book and RicStar’s Camp, and as I’m sure Marie Osmond will also do. I don’t know how a parent survives this unspeakable loss without such purpose.

You can watch Marie’s powerful interview and performance
here. I suggest you have tissues nearby. Tough to watch? Absolutely. Imagine what it’s like to live the reality.
My heart goes out to Marie Osmond and her family. Time alone heals nothing. What Marie does with that time will help her heal her excruciating loss. Eight years after my son took his last breath, this much I know.
Photo of Eric by his big sis Jenna Winter

Judy Winter