Céline Dion a Year After Husband's Death: 'I Have to Stand Tall and Strong'

The Canadian singer opens up about preparing for the holidays without her husband


Céline Dion opened up about preparing for her first Christmas without her husband, René Angélil, since his death in an interview with Page Six.

The “My Heart Will Go On” singer, 48, said the holidays will be a time to have peace with her three children rather than spending it in grief.

“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… and know nothing is perfect, not everything you want will happen.”

Dion said she feels Angélil will be present over the family’s Christmas as she and her children go skiing — a family tradition the family had until her husband felt too ill to travel last year.

“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.”

Angélil, 73, died in January, after a long battle with throat cancer. He is survived by his three children with Dion – René-Charles, 14, and 6-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy – as well as Anne-Marie, Patrick and Jean-Pierre, his adult children from previous marriages.

The Grammy-winner revealed in October that Angélil was the only man she had ever kissed in an interview with CBS’s Mo Rocca after her 1,000th performance in Las Vegas.

Dion met the talent manager when she was 12 years old in 1980, after she submitted a demo tape of a song she had written with her mother. He signed her, mortgaging his home to pay for her debut album La Voix Du Bon Dieu.

The duo’s relationship made a romantic turn in 1987, and they married in a lavish 1994 ceremony in Montreal, Canada.

RELATED VIDEO: Céline Dion on Life Since Losing Husband René Angelil: ‘It’s Not Living Without Him, It’s Living with Him Differently’

As the anniversary of his death approaches, the mother-of-three said, “I can’t believe it’s going to be a year that my husband passed. 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.”

She said she feels thankful that her husband didn’t suffer and feels certain that his spirit will be joining them for the holidays.

Her twin sons will also be skiing for the first time this year. “For me, the trip is not to party. It’s to try and mediate, find balance and be at peace with myself and my children and to eat, to play games, whether it’s Monopoly or the telephone game.”

After the holidays, Dion plans to return to her Las Vegas residency on Jan. 17.

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