Celine Dion could use some prayers as she is facing losing the love of her life, her husband René Angélil. Celine Dion says that doctors cannot tell her and René how much time he has left, but the couple is preparing for their final goodbyes. “When it hits me, it’s going to hit me. But my biggest job is to tell my husband, we’re fine. I’ll take care of our kids. You’ll watch us from another spot.”
Celine Dion’s interview with USA Today, published on August 23, comes as Celine is preparing to return to Las Vegas to perform again on August 27 at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace. For the past year, Celine has been taking care of René who is battling throat cancer – but the 73-year-old insists that his 47-year-old wife returns “to what she loves.”
“I didn’t want to be here at first, I don’t need it. Don’t get me wrong, I love singing for people, but I have priorities,” Celine says while calling her husband “the only boyfriend I’ve ever had” and “the leader of the band all my life.” “But René really gave me a gift. All my grieving, it was during this last year. I think I’ve got this. For now.”
Celine met her future husband when she was only 12 years old and René was 38, but his management of her career propelled her into stardom and the relationship between the two turned into a love story. The couple married in 1994 and with the help of in-vitro fertilization, became the proud parents of René-Charles (now 14) and fraternal twins Eddy and Nelson (now 4).
My 14-year-old son René-Charles is fast becoming “the man of my life,” says Celine, and admits that watching his father battle throat cancer is difficult for him. As for the 4-year-old twins, they know their father being on a feeding tube since René has been fed intravenously for the past two years. “And I’ll say ‘Come on, let’s go feed Dad,’ and they’ll come along with me.”
Celine, René, and the three children live together in their Las Vegas home after René had a series of procedures done in Boston hospitals.
“When you see someone who is fighting so hard, it has a big impact on you,” Celine says. “You have two choices. You look at your husband who’s very sick and you can’t help, and it kills you. Or you look at your husband that’s sick and you say, ‘I got you. I got it. I’m here. It’s going to be just fine’.”
“You can have your shaking knees at the end, but when someone you love falls and needs help, it’s not time to cry,” she says. “Afterwards, sure. But not yet.”
At times, however, René doesn’t want her to be strong but compassionate, says Celine: “Sometimes Angélil “needs something more sensitive than that, more than just positivity. Sometimes he just wants me to enter into a different place with him.”
Celine Dion and René Angélil are well aware that throat cancer is bringing an end to a life-long love story. “We have asked (doctors) many times, how long does he have, three weeks, three months? René wants to know,” she says. “But they say they don’t know.” In the meantime, while Celine follows her husband’s wishes to perform, the couple is getting ready to say good bye: “I’ll say, ‘You’re scared? I understand. Talk to me about it’,” she says during the interview in a soft voice. “And René says to me, ‘I want to die in your arms.’ OK, fine, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms.”