In her first TV interview since husband René Angélil’s death, singer Céline Dion opened up to ABC News' Deborah Roberts about her final words to him.
Dion says that while lying on his deathbed with René, "I started to tell him, 'You know what? I want you to just go in peace. I want you to not worry. You were worrying for my career. You were worrying for the children. You were worrying for everything. It's enough. Do you trust me? Please do. Trust me. The kids are fine. I'm fine. I promise you we're gonna be okay. Please leave in peace. I don't want you to worry.'"
After Angélil died, she had to figure out how to tell their kids, 5-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy, and 15-year-old René-Charles. She revealed, "Before I told them that their dad was not there, I talked about when we, everybody, gets sick. Then I said, 'Do you remember the movie "Up"?' It's one of our favorite. 'Oh,' they said. 'Yes, Ellie went up. You know, she, with the balloons.' I said, ‘Well, yeah… You know, today Papa went up.'... The only thing I wanted is for them to say 'up.' Up is a good thing. Up is uplifting."
To help them better understand why he died, Dion explained to the children, "Papa was very sick. He didn't have a sore throat. He did not have a bellyache. He did not have an earache. Do you remember Papa had a, a tube in his belly? Do you have a tube in your belly? Do you? I don't. That's really, really, really, really, really sick."
Following his death, Céline and their boys released balloons and "pixie dust" into the sky. She told them, "We're gonna say, 'Papa, we love you. Have a good up, and we're gonna spread this, and it's gonna go to him."
Dion is scheduled to perform Queen’s song “The Show Must Go On” at the Billboard Music Awards later this month. As for why she is singing that song, she revealed to People, "René always insisted the show must go on. 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.”
René battled cancer three times, and when his cancer came back in 2014, his suffering was only getting worse. She reflected, "There were times when I was very, very scared and he'd write me, 'The end is near, I feel it.' I would go back and say, 'How can you say that? Are you in more pain?' Now I know it's possible for someone dying to feel when it comes."
Though René is gone, he left behind something for Céline. “He left me with all of his strength. Every day we live with him, just not physically. I'm thankful that he does not suffer anymore.”
To watch Céline’s candid interview with Deborah, tune in to “Good Morning America” on Wednesday morning.