Celine Dion lost her brother and husband to the same disease within a span of a couple of days and it broke her in pieces.
Imagine having to say goodbye forever to two people you love deeply in the same week. The pain and the heartbreak would be enough to crush someone with even the strongest coping skills. It doesn't matter what your age is, the grief from losing someone can affect anyone. Many people also face depression after losing someone. During this time of mourning, people need a strong support system just like Celine Dion had.
The Canadian singer is one of 14 siblings and when she lost her husband, René Angélil, she had her family with her. Unfortunately, that was not the end of her personal pain. Just like Angélil, her brother too had been suffering from cancer. The My Heart Will Go On singer lost her older brother Daniel within three days of her husband passing away.
Dion's sister Claudette had opened up about Daniel's condition before he passed away and said, "It’s very painful. It looks a lot like René, he had cancer of the throat, tongue and brain," she said, as per Hello magazine. "Our family is very experienced," she added. The family held Daniel's funeral on January 23, 2016, just a day after they came together for Dion's husband's funeral at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal.
"He is 59 years old, very young to be the end of his life," Claudette had said about her brother. She also spoke about her brother-in-law. He was "outstanding," she said. "We have received a lot of support and comfort after the announcement of his death. It shows how great he was and that he touched so many before. It is heart-warming to see how much he was loved," she added.
Dion, on the other hand, couldn't handle the grief of losing two people beloved to her in the same week. Living in the public eye, it would be hard to have privacy during a period of mourning making it harder but she still put on a brave face. The That's The Way It Is singer was present for her brother's visitation but she was so distraught that she couldn't attend his funeral. She simply couldn't muster the strength to attend two funerals within a few days of each other.
"Celine's heart is in pieces," a source close to the singer said, as per Hello Magazine. "She's extremely heartbroken."
Instead, she stayed home for her brother's funeral after going through one of the hardest public appearances ever, as per Hello Magazine. A black veil had covered her face during her husband's visitation, during which she leaned on her eldest son René-Charles. She had to say goodbye to the love of her life previously and so she chose to privately grieve her brother before attending a Celebration of Life for her husband on February 3, 2016 in Las Vegas.
Till the end, he wanted to protect her and took away the pain of planning his funeral. It was held at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal and he planned it himself while battling throat cancer for months. The Notre-Dame Basilica is a special place for the couple as they got married there in 1994, as per ET. "René was generous enough to prepare all of this since the last few months with Céline," said Celine’s long-time friend and stylist, Annie Horth, as per Nowtolove. "He didn't know when it would happen, but he really wanted everything to be already prepared."
His obituary said: "According to his final wishes, his funeral will be held at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, where 21 years ago he chose to marry the one who will remain as the great love of his life, the artist for which he had the most respect, the woman who gave him light and happiness until his very last breath."
In Canada, the couple is considered royalty, and thousands of people showed up for the funeral. The event was also televised by Canadian television and the people who couldn't attend watched it on TV. Angélil died on January 14, just two days before turning 74. Dion canceled her performance at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on January 16 and January 17.
The grieving widow took solace in fashion after losing two important people in her life. "It’s amazing how a little bit of fantasy can alter our moods," the mother of three told PEOPLE.
"I’ve gone through some extremely difficult times in recent years, and I suppose that I’m spreading my wings a little bit more these days and doing so with the help of beautiful clothing and accessories," she said.