Céline Dion on How Children Are Coping with René Angélil's Death: 'They Know That Dad Is Not Coming Back'
Céline Dion said she and her children lean on one another as they heal from the pain of René Angélil's death
During Friday’s appearance on the Today show, Dion, 48, said that coping with the loss of her husband has been hard, but she feels “very strong” – and so do the couple’s three kids 15-year-old René-Charles and 5-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy.
“It’s all about feeling very strong and positive. They sense it. They sense that mom is okay,” she said of the children. “They know what’s going on. They know that dad is not coming back. They know that they have to live with him, but differently.”
Angélil”, who guided Dion’s career as her mentor and manager, died in January after a long battle with cancer. The 73-year-old’s lengthy battle with the disease led Dion to put her career on hold multiple times to care for her husband.
“It’s been a journey. It’s been hard seeing the love of your life suffering for the last three years. It’s been really hard, but millions of people are going through this,” she said on Today. “And I feel very strong because not only that he loved me so much for many, many lives to come – he gave me three magnificent kids, so much knowledge, stability and confidence.”
She also touched on how her husband’s death has altered her role as a mother.
“We’ve always been partners for many, many, many years and I think he left the other 50 – we were 50-50 – he left the other 50 to me,” she said. For me to be feeling very strong and [to] manage and say to my kids, ‘it’s going to be fine.’ ”
She added later: “My kids are fine, so I’m fine.”
Earlier this year, Dion opened up to PEOPLE exclusively, sharing personal photos of her twins and calling her children her support system in the wake of Angélil’s death.
“René always insisted the show must go on,” she said. “You know what, I’m 48 years old and I lost the love of my life. I miss him a lot from when he was great but not when he was suffering. I cannot be selfish. You have to let people go. I feel at peace.”