Our hearts are breaking for Celine Dion.
The 47-year-old singer is returning to her Las Vegas residency after taking a two-year hiatus to care for her husband, René Angélil, who has terminal throat cancer.
In a candid, emotional new interview with USA Today, Dion opened up about her struggles over the past two years, especially coming to terms with her husband’s diagnosis.
“I didn’t want to be here at first,” she said about returning to the stage. “I don’t need it. Don’t get me wrong — I love singing for people, but I have priorities.”
She continued, “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.”
Dion met her now-73-year-old husband when she was only 12. He was her manager before they married in 1994. She told USA Today he was “the only boyfriend [she’s] ever had” and “the leader of the band all [her] life.”
Now, she said she tries to stay strong for the ailing Angélil, but that sometimes he “needs something more sensitive than that, more than just positivity… René says to me, ‘I want to die in your arms.’ OK. Fine. I’ll be there. You’ll die in my arms.”
For now, Dion is set to return to the stage on Thursday. She said she doesn’t know yet whether Angélil will make it to the show, but that it will be an emotional time for her regardless.
“There will be moments of emptiness, laughter, awkwardness, tearing up,” she said. “But that’s the point of coming back — otherwise, I (would) just release an album.”
Our thoughts are with Celine Dion and her family during this difficult time.