Marie Osmond, Liam Neeson, John Travolta: How Does a Star Grieve?

Marie Osmond's return to the stage the day after her 18-year-old son Michael Blosil's funeral has some folks wondering: how could she return to work so soon?

Osmond offered an explanation herself when she took the stage Tuesday with her older brother, Donny, for their Las Vegas variety show, "Donny & Marie," at the Flamingo Hotel.

"The way Osmonds survive is we keep singing, and that's what we want to do tonight. I know my son would want that," she told the audience.

Michael, Osmond's son with ex-husband Brian Blosil, was found dead from an apparent suicide outside his Los Angeles apartment building on Feb. 26. Blosil, a first-year student at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, jumped to his death from his high-rise apartment building in downtown Los Angeles. He reportedly left a note in which he referred to his lifelong battle with depression.

After learning the news, Marie Osmond cancelled her show on Feb. 27 through the following week. On Monday, during an emotional ceremony in Utah attended by the extended Osmond family, Osmond laid her son to rest.

Marie Osmond's son Michael

The next night she was back on stage in Las Vegas, dedicating a song to her son.

"Little did I know I would be relying on my faith, especially as much as I did this past week," she said before dedicating the song to Michael, whom she called "my angel."

Wrapped in a robe with white feathers that resembled an angel's wings, Osmond genuflected and held out her right hand as she sang.

"How she got through that I will never know," said Donny Osmond after his sister's solo performance.

"I hope you all appreciate what she's going through tonight," he said. "She's a strong woman."

Marie Osmond with her ex-husband Brian Blosil, Michael's father

Donny said Marie was strong simply for showing up.

"I just think that we need to give a big round of applause to my sister for even coming onstage tonight," Donny Osmond said after the siblings' opening number.

Marie Osmond: The Show Goes On

The crowd roared its support. "Don't do that -- I'm going to have to leave," Marie Osmond quipped.

After the show, Donny Osmond posted a message on his Twitter page: "I admire my sister. She was back on stage tonight. Did a great job, and made it through the show."

While her quick return has raised some eyebrows, getting back to work may have been the best thing for Marie Osmond.

Osmond declined to comment for this story, as did her siblings contacted by

"I think people don't recognize the comforting aspects of structure and as normal a routine as possible," clinical psychologist Randi Mozenter told "For people who have a job and a routine that gives them pleasure, it doesn't mean they are OK or not grieving a horrible loss, but the job gives them a sense of purpose and a reason to get out of bed in the morning."

"Some people really need to go away for a while and hibernate and some people need to get back to their routine as quickly as possible," said Mozenter, who is on staff at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Mozenter said it's dangerous for the public to assume that just because Osmond is back at work, she's avoiding dealing with her grief. "What we're seeing is a brief period of time, when she's back in role of being an entertainer," she said. "We don't know what she's doing the other hours of the day."

Other Grieving Celebrities

Looking at other stars who have dealt with tragedy, there appears to be no one way for a public figure to grieve.

Marie Osmond at her son Michael's funeral

John Travolta largely dropped out of the spotlight, retreating to his Florida compound, after his son Jett's sudden death from a seizure in January 2009. Travolta left Denzel Washington, his co-star in "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," to promote their film when it was released that summer. Ten months later, Travolta gave his first interview, saying daily religious counseling helped him to cope.

When Liam Neeson's wife, Natasha Richardson, died in a ski accident last March, Neeson returned to work the week after her funeral. He completed filming on "Chloe," which will be released Mar. 26. Five months after Richardson's death, Neeson appeared on "Good Morning America" to promote his new film, "Five Minutes of Heaven," and told Diane Sawyer that he had become an American citizen partly because of all the condolence letters he received.

Having grown up in the show-business spotlight, Osmond, a consummate performer, may be adhering to that old adage: the show must go on.

"For her, she probably gets a real sense of comfort from performing and connection and support," said Michelle Golland, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles. "It's probably a way she's always coped. She's always had to pick herself up and go on."

Golland said the spotlight is probably more glow than glare for Osmond.

Osmond's producer, Chip Lightman, told E! News on Tuesday that the singer decided to make a quick return in part because she has a lot of people depending on her.

"She's going back to work because it affects a lot of people when she doesn't work. There's over 100 people who work on the show, and Marie never wants to let people down so she's going back to work tonight," Lightman said.

At home, Osmond has seven other children depending on her as well.

"She's having a rough time, but she's staying strong. She has seven other children that depend on her, and she's being strong for the kids," Lightman said.

Staying Strong for Family

Blosil was one of eight children and one of five whom Marie Osmond adopted. Mozenter said Osmond's children depend on her more than just financially.

"We do know that the healthiest coping strategies for the other children and families as a whole are for things to be a mixture of as normal as possible while acknowledging the loss," Mozentor said.

Marie Osmond with some of her children

Watching the way Osmond has shared her private struggles publicly in the past, including her divorce from Michael's father, her son's stint in rehab and her battle with post-partum depression, Mozenter believes the star will continue to draw support from the public with her latest tragedy.

At the end of Tuesday's show, Osmond cried as she struggled to sing her last line.

"May God keep you in his tender care," Donny Osmond sang, before telling his sister, "You don't have to sing this part."

"'Til he brings us together again," she sang.