Marie Osmond has advised fellow parents to make themselves fully accessible to children suffering from depression - because she is convinced her own son didn't open up to her about his troubles for fear of adding to her burdens. The veteran entertainer is still mourning the suicide of 18-year-old Michael Bryan, who jumped to his death from the balcony of his Los Angeles apartment in February.
She is adamant the teenager kept his feelings locked up because she was always so busy dealing with other problems in her life - and it was only towards the end that Michael reached out for help - but it was already too late.
And Osmond wants other mums and dads to learn from her experience. In an emotional TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired in the U.S. on Thursday, November 11, she said, "I'm a single mum. I've been working my whole life. I've been the breadwinner for the whole family. My son saw that in me. He saw how tired I was; he saw the stress I had been through."
"I think he didn't want to burden me with one more thing. Tell your children that it's not, they're not a burden. He just loved me so much." Osmond knew her son suffered from bouts of severe depression, but she had no idea how serious it had become until he took his own life.
Describing the suicide note he left behind, she revealed, "He basically said that he knew that morning was the last time he'd get up, brush his teeth, eat breakfast, those kind of things. He made that decision, I guess. He said he loved his family. The pain was that intense."