A week after she shared the tragic news that her beloved husband, René Angélil, passed away following a long battle with cancer, Celine Dion was seen putting on a brave face as she prepared to travel to Montreal to attend his funeral. "Her heart is in pieces," a source close to the singer told People. "She's extremely heartbroken."
The 47-year-old star was reportedly at home with their three children, René-Charles, 14, and five-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy on the day that René lost his battle with cancer at age 73, and the family have been together ever since.
Celine and her children boarded a private jet from Las Vegas to Montreal on Wednesday, with René's funeral to be held at Notre-Dame Basilica on Friday. René had arranged his own funeral in detail in a bid to ease Celine's burden, and requested the venue as it is where he married "the great love of his life" in December 1994.
René was a highly regarded figure in Canada, and as such his funeral will be televised on three networks, and flags will fly at high-mast. On Thursday, members of the public can pay their respects.
Celine is not expected to sing at the service, but a representative told TMZ that one or two of her songs might be played.
The Think Twice hit-maker has been grieving for her husband in private, but on Saturday she wrote a touching tribute to René on Facebook.
"He will be remembered as a gentle man, generous and kind, an unprecedented visionary, a modern Pygmalion, a Renaissance man. All who had the privilege of knowing him and of working closely with him, whether personally or professionally, salute a leader and a man of great intelligence and wisdom," Celine wrote.
It's been a tremendously traumatic time for Celine. She lost her brother Daniel to cancer just two days after René died. Just 59, he had battled throat, brain and tongue cancer and passed away on Montreal surrounded by his family.
Celine has confirmed that she will resume her Las Vegas performances on Feb. 23.