René Angélil’s funeral was not only a celebration of his life, but a strong tribute to his love story with wife Celine Dion. The couple’s niece Audrey and nephew Jimmy, who acted as their flower girl and ring bearer at their 1994 nuptials, once again led the procession down the long aisle of the Notre-Dame Basilica. Resting on Jimmy's knee was the same pillow that he carried so many years ago. At the end of the service, a heartbroken Celine untied her husband’s ring from the pillow before sliding it onto her finger.
Audrey and Jimmy, who was left quadriplegic following an accident, are the children of Celine's sister and brother, respectively.
To eliminate any stress or pain that Celine might feel having to plan a funeral after his death, René designed the order of service. In addition to requesting that the funeral be held in the same church he married the “greatest love of his life” more than 21 years ago, the music manager chose a few of his wife’s songs to be played during the service. The Canadian singer entered the church to the sound of her ballad "Trois heures vingt" while heartfelt songs like "J'irais chercher ton cœur” and “All the Way” later filled the historic sanctuary.
Even though it must have been extremely difficult for the singer to stand beside her husband's coffin in the very same spot where she said "I do," Celine put on a brave face and stood for hours greeting fans and mourners at the visitation on Jan. 21. "The support we have received has been such a blessing," the star told People.
Read More: Hello!'s Alison Eastwood reflects on René
René died on Jan, 14, just two days shy of his 74th birthday. Even though the family knew the cancer was terminal, a source told People that his death came as a shock. On Feb. 3, Celine will honour her husband once again by hosting a special service of remembrance at her Las Vegas base, the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. She is expected to resume her residency on Feb. 23.