How Céline Dion Used Disney's 'Up' to Tell Her 5-Year-Old Twins That Husband René Angélil Had Died

René Angélil died after a long battle with cancer in January 2016

Photo: Courtesy Celine Dion

Céline Dion opens up for the first time since losing both her husband, René Angélil, and brother Daniel Dion. Subscribe now to read how she and her family have found strength and peace, only in PEOPLE.

When it came to sharing the hardest news of her life, Céline Dion turned to Disney.

Dion tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story that she told her youngest children about their father René Angélil‘s January death with help from the beloved children’s movie Up.

Dion says she waited a few days after twins Nelson and Eddy Angélil, 5½, lost their father to his long battle with cancer then threw them a glitter and balloon-filled party.

For much more on Céline Dion’s heartbreaking loss, how she told her children, and how they are all finding the strength to go on, pick up the upcoming issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

It was then – ahead of Angélil’s funeral – that she revealed that “Papa” had “gone up” – floating away on balloons, never to return.

“I did not want to relate the passing to doctors and have them be afraid,” she says, adding of easing them into the concept of death, “It’s the thing I’m most proud of.”

The Story Behind the Story: Celine Dion’s Life After Loss

Dion, who also has 15-year-old son René-Charles Angelil with her late husband, says, “I see René in all three of them. Not one moment do I feel like they’re looking for him and questioning.”

Angélil, Dion’s longtime manager and mentor, was 73 when he died. He had gone through three separate bouts of cancer after first being diagnosed in 1999. His throat cancer returned, for a final time, in 2014.

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