Her heart will always go on. It’s been almost year since Celine Dion’s husband René Angélil died in January after a long battle with cancer, and now the singer is facing her first holiday season without her partner of nearly 30 years.
In an exclusive profile in Page Six, Dion opens up about “the bittersweet moment” she finds herself in as 2016 comes to a close and how she’s persevered through this period of mourning to find peace.
“I cannot just live on like, ‘I lost my husband, my children have no father,’” she said. “I have to stand tall and strong because this is my way of living: Stand tall, be positive, pick your battles, do the best you can and to live for today, not for tomorrow, for today, and know nothing is perfect, not everything you want will happen.”
2016 was a particularly devastating year for the legendary Canadian singer. Just two days after the loss of her husband, Dion’s brother Daniel died at age 59 of cancer. Dion and her children ― she and Angélil have three sons together ― are still recovering from their deaths, she said, but are “healing each day.”
“My kids are doing really well and eventually you have to just move on,” she added. “Yesterday is over, tomorrow is not here yet, so today is today.”
To honor Angélil this holiday season, Dion and her children plan to continue the family’s tradition of skiing in Big Sky, Montana, a trip they canceled last year due to Angélil’s failing health.
“He put something magic into that snow, into those mountains, and every time we go down, I go down with him,” she said. “My children go down thinking about him. Every time I take the lift to go up, I feel closer to him.”
Dion continued, “I feel thankful that he doesn’t suffer and he doesn’t have to worry because we got him. He got us and the spirit of the holidays will get us together again … We’re going to ski again all together and he will be there with us.”
Still, the holidays are a time of year when families can feel the loss of loved ones the most. Dion says she’s still in disbelief that she’s made it through this past year without Angélil.
“I can’t believe it’s going to be a year that my husband passed,” she said. “I don’t know when Santa Claus is coming, but if I had a wish to make this year, can you just tell him to take his time? I’m not ready! It’s kind of a bittersweet moment and at the same time we need to really make the holidays really happy.”