On Monday, the French-Canadian vocal legend shared a photo of Angélil — who died of throat cancer on Jan. 14, 2016 at the age of 73 — to her social media accounts along with a message dedicated to him.
“Mon cher René… tu es toujours avec moi… et tu le seras toujours. À ta douce mémoire… xx…” Dion, 50, wrote in her native French, which translates in English to, “My dearest René….always with me…..always will be. In loving memory… xx …”
In 2017, Dion revealed that losing Angélil was hard on the kids — especially the twins — but it made them even closer.
“I organize myself to not feel lonely,” she explained to The Sun. “So I got myself a huge, huge, huge bed, and I sleep with my twins. They are comforting me a lot. I need them. I need them close. When it’s time for them to say they want their room, their room’s ready. But we watch a lot of TV together. I’m discovering Disney.”
Dion said that she and her children continue to talk to Angélil even after his death. “We kiss him every night,” she said. “We have a little ritual where we say goodnight to him with a little picture. Then the kids talk to him. And they write words, put them in balloons and we send the balloons to the sky.”
There’s also a pre-concert ritual Dion said she participates in before every performance, in which she clutches a bronze replica of Angélil’s hand. “I shake my husband’s hand and knock on wood with him every night before every show,” she said in a February 2018 interview with the Daily Telegraph‘s magazine Stellar. “Even after he’s gone, I still talk to him.”
Dion makes sure to keep his traditional seat behind the sound mixing desk empty in his honor, too. “He taught me so much. He did a great job; what he had been giving to me all his life and all my life will always be with me,” Dion said. “He gave me his all. He mortgaged his house to pay for my first album. I guess before he left he wanted to make sure I was fine. I’m trying to prove to him every day I’m fine. Our kids are growing, we feel strong. We’re good.”
In November, Dion told PEOPLE that when she isn’t performing at Caesars Palace for her Las Vegas residency Céline, she puts all of her time into her kids.
“The highlight of my day is always being with my children,” Dion said.
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And her boys continue to surprise her. “Even though my young sons are twins, they are so different,” she said, noting that this is particularly true when it comes to fashion. “If one likes to wear a certain shirt, the other one wants something completely different. They’re searching for their own individuality. It’s important for their emotional growth.”
When Dion’s Las Vegas residency ends after eight years in June, she’ll have plenty more time to spend with her children — as well as new projects.
“I love doing the show so much, and I’m very grateful to be able to do it. But I’m also excited for the new things to come after it ends,” she said. “There are a lot of things in the works. I can’t talk about all of them yet, but I am in the studio working on a new English album. Hopefully it will be out sometime in 2019.”