May 18, 2016 08:00 AM

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.

Life without husband René Angélil has not been easy for Céline Dion, but she’s found a great support system in their three children.

“My boys give me so much strength,” Dion tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story, sharing exclusive photos of her twins Nelson and Eddy, 5½, and 15-year-old René-Charles.

The twins, who were born in October 2010, have come to understand their father’s death through their affinity toward Disney films, Dion explains.

Camp#233;line Dion with Nelson and Eddy in 2015
Courtesy Celine Dion

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

“I associated his passing with the Disney movie Up,” she says of the glitter and balloon-filled party she threw them to celebrate that “Papa” had “gone up”. Says Dion, “I did not want to relate the passing to doctors and have them be afraid.”

Since the funeral, her youngest sons are keeping busy. “This week one wants to go into gymnastics, and the other one wants to go into piano,” she says with a laugh. “But we have to try.”

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

Camp#233;line Dion and Renamp#233;-Charles
Courtesy Celine Dion

René-Charles delivered a moving eulogy during his father’s Catholic funeral mass at Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica.

“I could almost hear his knee caps rattling,” says Dion of his speech. “I was so proud of him.”

Now, René-Charles is enjoying playing hockey and fully embracing all that comes with teenagerdom: He’s “already talking about cars,” says Dion.

When it comes to life after Angélil and being a single mom, “It’s hard,” Dion says, “But [my husband] left me with all of his strength.”

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