Hundreds of mourners packed into Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica in January to honour the life of René Angélil. While tributes poured in for the beloved husband, father and friend, it was a speech by his oldest son René-Charles that had Celine and family wiping away tears. "I could almost hear his knee-caps shaking. I was so proud of him. [René] was so proud of him," the singer told People.
At only 15-year-old, René-Charles showed admirable strength as he stood in front of the large crowd to address his relationship with his beloved father. And even though he was the picture of confidence as he spoke so lovingly about his dad, Celine has revealed that her son had some reservations about speaking at the funeral.
In an interview with People, the Canadian songstress admitted: "At first he said 'I don't think I can do that," to which Celine replied, "I just want you to know your dad and I have always respected you. We respect your decision."
After asking his mother what she thought he should do, Celine says she told him, "This is the last time you can talk to your dad," she said. "RC, it's not for me or the people, it's for your dad."
With his mom and younger brothers, Nelson and Eddy, looking on, René-Charles spoke openly to his father, saying, "You left me with good memories to share with my younger brothers. Dad, I promise you here, we're all going to live up to your standards."
The singer also revealed that she worries about her sons and how they are dealing with their immeasurable loss. "[RC] stopped playing golf because his dad was playing golf with him … I didn't want anything in correlation with his dad to stop him from moving on."
Still, the mother of three is determined to be a pillar of strength for her boys and lead by example. "I really, really want to prove to my kids their mother is strong," she admits, adding that René is helping her heal. "He left me with all of his strength. Every day we live with him, just not physically. I'm thankful that he does not suffer anymore."