Celine Dion's Most Candid Comments About Losing Her Husband Rene

Celine Dion was married to her husband, René Angélil, for more than 20 years. The two first met when Dion was just 12 years old when a then 38-year-old Angélil became her manager. As Dion got older, her relationship with Angélil changed and the two fell in love despite their 26-year age gap. The couple had three sons together, René-Charles and twins Nelson and Eddy, before Angélil died in 2016 following a battle with throat cancer. Dion released a statement on her official website following her husband's funeral. "My family and I are deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support from so many people who have touched our lives during these past few days. We have felt your love for René, and your prayers and compassion have helped us during this most difficult time... more than you'll ever know. I thank you from the bottom of my heart," she wrote at the time. 

In the years that have followed, Dion has spoken very highly of her husband. Although he's no longer with her, Dion never misses an opportunity to post about his memory or to talk about the love they once shared. Her candid comments about losing her husband have been heartbreaking but obviously cathartic for Dion, who still feels the pain of Angelil's death keenly. 

René Angélil sent Celine Dion a message before he died

René Angélil was first diagnosed with cancer in 1999 when doctors found squamous cell carcinoma in one of his lymph glands in his neck, according to People. Following treatment, which included surgery and radiation, Angélil was told that he was cancer-free. In 2014, however, his cancer returned. By March 2015, Dion told ABC News that her husband had been placed on a feeding tube because he could no longer swallow. He also couldn't talk. Celine Dion didn't have an easy time coming to terms with her husband's prognosis after his cancer had returned. She did, however, take some time off to care for him. Sadly, in January 2016, Angélil died.

"He called me before a show and gave me a little message: 'I love you,'" Dion told "Today" in 2019, explaining that she had been performing the night her husband died. When she got home, she didn't go to his room because she didn't want to wake him. "The next morning, he was gone," she said. She opened up about Angélil again a couple of months later. "Losing my husband, my manager, the father of my kids, my friend. I feel his vibration and his support ... forever," she said on "CBS This Morning" in 2019. "His smell. His touch. His way of making me laugh," she continued. Two years later, on the fifth anniversary of her husband's death, Dion shared that she still feels his energy with her every single day.

Celine Dion said René Angélil is still a part of her life

Celine Dion has been very open about the sadness she's felt following the death of her husband. "There's not one day that we don't think about you. We're reaching out to you now more than ever, to guide us, protect us, and continue to watch over us," she captioned an Instagram post on the fifth anniversary of René Angélil's death. Along with a lengthy caption, Dion shared a close-up of her hand inside the hand of her husband's on what looks like a beach. A moment frozen in time that signifies a bond unbroken, even in death.

On a positive note, however, Dion has found strength in knowing that, in many ways, he is still with her. She seems to realize that the most when she's with her three sons. "Losing my husband, for my kids to lose their father, it was quite something," she said during an interview on "Today" in 2021. "I feel like René has given me so much through the years and still today. I see my kids. I look at them — we live with him. We still live with him. He's part of our lives every day, so I have to say that I feel very, very strong," she added.

Celine Dion wrote a song in her husband's memory

It's likely that many of Celine Dion's songs were more than likely inspired by her real-life love story, and it seems as though René Angélil's is still very much on Dion's mind whenever it comes to recording new music. For example, when Dion released the song "Courage" in 2019, many felt that the lyrics were written with Angélil in mind. As it turns out, they were. "I would be lying if I said I'm fine, I think of you at least a hundred times, cause in the echo of my voice I hear your words just like you're there," Dion quoted the track in a Twitter post uploaded in 2022. Along with the caption, she included a black-and-white photo of her husband. "I still come home from a long day, so much to talk about, so much to say. I love to think that we're still making plans in conversations that'll never end," the lyrics continue.

These days, Dion is dealing with her own health issues, which have kept her from performing. In December 2022, Dion shared a candid video on Instagram in which she revealed that she'd been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome. The condition, which can cause stiffness as well as spasms, according to Yale Medicine, has caused Dion to cancel all of her upcoming shows through mid-2024.