In an exclusive with “ABC News,” Celine Dion in her first interview since the death of her husband, Rene Angelil, described the final moments with her love of her life for the past 21 years.
“I started to talk to him and I said ‘You know what? I want you to just go in peace. I want you to not worry,'” she said. “You were worrying for my career. You were worrying for the children. You were worrying for everything. It’s enough. Do you trust me? Please do. Trust me. The kids are fine. I’m fine. I promise you we’re going to be OK. Please leave in peace.”
Angelil passed away in January after a long battle with throat cancer. He was two days shy of his 74th birthday—which was the day Dion’s brother died.
Dion was left to pick up the pieces and share the heartbreaking news to the couple’s children—5-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy, and 15-year-old René-Charles. The 48-year-old singer used the 2009 Disney movie “Up” as a teaching tool about death.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 18, 2016
“Before I told them that their dad was not there, I talked about when we—everybody—gets sick. Then I said, ‘Do you remember the movie ‘Up’?'” Dion says. “‘Oh,’ they said, ‘Yes, Ellie went up. You know, she, with the balloons.’ And I said, ‘Well, yea… You know, today Papa went up.'”
“The only thing I wanted is for them to say ‘up,'” Dion said in reference to her sons’ understanding the death of their father. “Up is a good thing. Up is uplifting. We’re going to celebrate right now because Papa is no longer in pain.”
To pay tribute to Angelil, Dion and the children blew “pixie dust” and released balloons into the sky.
“We’re gonna say, ‘Papa, we love you. Have a good up, and we’re gonna spread this, and it’s gonna go to him,'” Dion shared.
In the months following Angelil’s death, Dion continued her Las Vegas residency where she performs on an almost nightly basis. And it doesn’t end there for the widow. She will continue her residency, accept the Billboard’s Icon Award at this year’s Billboard Music Awards, release new music in August, and will tour in Europe. The singer’s plate is full and she is okay with that, though difficult.
“I trust my team and I trust René, who lives within me,” she said. “And I do my very best.”