Celine Dion Used Up To Explain Death To Her Young Children

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEI/REX/Shutterstock.
Celine Dion says that relaying the concept of death to her young sons is one of her proudest accomplishments in life.

"I did not want to relate the passing to doctors and have them be afraid," she told People about how she explained to her children that their father, René Angélil, had passed away. "It's the thing I'm most proud of."

The singer explained that she turned to Disney to help relay the concept of death, borrowing from Up to convey that Angélil had passed on. A few days after his death, Dion told the magazine, she threw the twins a party with balloons and glitter. She explained that, just like in the movie, "Papa" had "gone up," above the balloons and into the sky.

"The only thing I wanted is for them to say 'up,'" Dion told ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts. “Up is a good thing. Up is uplifting." Then, she explained, she took her sons outside, where they released balloons into the air, made wishes, and said goodbye to their father while blowing "pixie dust" into the air.

"We’re gonna say, ‘Papa, we love you. Have a good up.'" Dion remembers telling her boys. "And we're gonna spread this, and it’s gonna go to him."

She also made sure to help assuage her children's fear of death and dying by helping them to understand that their father was ill. "Papa was very sick. He didn't have a sore throat," she told them. "He did not have a bellyache. He did not have an earache. Do you remember Papa had a tube in his belly? Do you have a tube in your belly? Do you? I don't. That's really, really, really, really, really sick."

Angélil was Dion's mentor and longtime manager. The couple, who married in 1994, had three sons together — the twins and a 15-year-old. Angélil passed away at age 73 on January 14, 2016, after a long battle with cancer.

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