As previously reported, Gifford’s husband, Frank Gifford, died at age 84 of natural causes in August 2015. Five months later, Dion’s husband, Renee Angelil, died at the age of 73 after battling throat cancer.
Dion and Angelil married in 1994 and are parents to son René-Charles, 15, and twin boys Nelson and Eddy, 5.
“I used to be 50/50 as partnership with my husband, who was my manager and the father of my children. And I really feel that to see him suffering for the last three years of my life it was not my husband. And to see him suffer so much was very, very difficult for everyone,” Dion, 48, explained. “Knowing that now he is not suffering anymore – and I look at my children and see him through their eyes. I tell them that dad is not gone, he lives within us and he’s in our heart.”
“When he passed I was very fortunate, to make a long story short, that my children did not find him,” she told Gifford. “The second thing is that I needed to take charge. He had his will and I really wanted to make sure that it was going to happen the way that he wanted it.”
Dion revealed that she tried to read self-help books to cope, but they didn’t help. Instead, she pushed them aside and brought her kids to Montreal, where she had a moving conversation with her twins. The Canadian native tried to explain Angelil’s death by referring to the 2009 movie Up, where the animated character Ellie passes away.
“I said, ‘Papa had a big tube in his belly and our family doctor could not fix that and mommy couldn’t … so Papa went up,” she explained. “I said, ‘Listen to me. You can’t interrupt. Where is Papa? Is he in the living room? Is he in his room? Where is he?’ And they said, ‘Up.’ I said, ‘That’s right. He’s with Ellie.'”
Dion and Gifford supported each other during the difficult conversation. But they both agreed that they were lucky to marry the best men in the world.
“If I concentrate on what I lost, then I will be in despair,” Gifford said. “But if I concentrate on what I still have, all of God’s blessings. I still have my beautiful children, my husband, the same way you do. We are in a state of what’s called grace, and I think that’s because God gives you what you need when you need it. We have actually been rejoicing as a family since Frank went to be with the Lord. We have peace about it.”
Watch Dion and Gifford in the video above.
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