Céline Dion’s fans will be thrilled to again experience her stage performances, as she again resumes her Caesar’s Palace residency, but, even as Dion sings her hits, her husband, René Angélil will be battling terminal throat cancer.
“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,” Céline said. “But René really gave me a gift. All my grieving, it was during this last year. I think I’ve got this. For now. 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.”
People magazine reports that 73-year-old Angélil, who is living with Ms. Dion in their Las Vegas home, has battled three bouts of cancer and there seems to be no end in sight, particularly with doctors hesitant to provide any kind of a time table.
“We have asked [doctors] many times, how long does he have, three weeks, three months? René wants to know,” says Dion. “But they say they don’t know.”
Céline and René have three children together, René-Charles, 14, and 4-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy, so the issue of Angélil’s life expectancy is an important matter to everyone involved. Regardless, Dion has vowed to keep her word on granting René’s dying wish.
“I’ll say, ‘You’re scared? I understand. Talk to me about it’ … And René says to me, ‘I want to die in your arms.’ Okay, fine, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms.”
Céline admits that the prospect of losing her husband terrifies her and that there are moments she feels as though she may fall apart, but she fights those feelings to remain strong for Angélil. Ms. Dion knows how important it is for her to remain strong while her husband is facing his own death.
“When you see someone who is fighting so hard, it has a big impact on you,” Ms. Dion says, according to USA Today. “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.'”
Céline adds that whether she shows it or not, the struggle she’s facing does take its toll.
“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 said. “Afterwards, sure. But not yet.”
[Featured image: Celine Dion and René Angélil courtesy of Ethan Miller/Getty Images]