Celine Dion shares her heartbreaking final moments with René Angélil: 'I promise you we're gonna be OK'

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Celine Dion Opens Up About Husband Rene Angelil's Death: 'We're Going to Be OK'


Celine Dion is ready to talk about the death of her late husband, René Angélil.

In her first television interview since Angélil's death in January after a long battle with throat cancer, the 48-year-old singer describes her somber final moments with her husband of 21 years. Dion says she told Angélil not to "worry" anymore, and to "leave in peace."

"'You were worrying for my career. You were worrying for the children. You were worrying for everything. It's enough. Do you trust me?'" Dion says she told Angélil in a new interview with ABC News. "'Please do. Trust me. The kids are fine. I'm fine. I promise you we're gonna be OK. Please leave in peace. I don't want you to worry.'"

WATCH: René Angélil Planned His Own Funeral So That Wife Celine Dion Wouldn't Have To

Dion also had the difficult task of breaking the news to their children -- 15-year-old René-Charles, and 6-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy. She says she used the 2009 Disney film Up to talk about Angelil's death with her younger boys.

PHOTOS: Celine Dion and Rene Angelil through the years

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Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil
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Celine Dion shares her heartbreaking final moments with René Angélil: 'I promise you we're gonna be OK'
CANADA - MAY 01: Archives: Celine Dion In Montreal, Canada In May, 1996-December, 17, 1994, during her wedding with Rene Angelil. (Photo by Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 01: Celine Dion and Rene Angelil In Los Angeles, United States In March 1990. (Photo by Pool 6500/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
MONACO - MAY 03: World Music Awards In Monte Carlo, Monaco On May 03, 1995 - Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil. (Photo by Jean-Pierre REY/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
CANADA - JUNE 19: Celine Dion celebrates her 10 years career In Montreal, Canada On June 19, 1991-Celine Dion and her manager Rene Angelil. (Photo by PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
CANADA - DECEMBER 15: Celine Dion's Wedding In Montreal, Canada On December 15, 1994-Celine Dion with husband Rene Angelil. (Photo by PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
CANADA - SEPTEMBER 08: Celine Dion And Husband Rene Angelil Giving Press Conference In Montreal, Canada On September 08, 1999. (Photo by Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 01: Celine Dion and Rene Angelil In Los Angeles, United States In March 1990. (Photo by Pool 6500/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
392394 04:: Pop star Celine Dion stands next to her husband, Rene Angelil, who holds their baby Rene-Charles July 25, 2001 as they arrive at the chappel of the Notre-Dame Basilica in old Montreal, Quebec before the baptism of their 6-month-old baby boy, The ceremony was celebrated by Mgr Michel SaydT in French, English and Arab under the Greek-Melkite rite. (Photo by Pierre Roussel / Getty Images)
CANADA - JULY 25: Christening of Rene Charles son of Celine Dion and Rene Angelil In Canada On July 25, 2001-Celine Dion, her husband Rene Angelil and their son Rene Charles. (Photo by Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Celine Dion & Husband Rene Angelil during 2000 Nabisco Golf Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, United States. (Photo by Sam Levi/WireImage)
Celine Dion & Rene Angelil during Celine Dion Opening Night Of 'A New Day' - Post Concert Press Conference at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Tony Barson/WireImage)
MONACO - MAY 08: World Music Awards In Monaco city, Monaco On May 08, 1996 - Celine Dion & Husband Rene Angelil. (Photo by Jean-Pierre REY/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
CANADA - OCTOBER 25: Celine Dion And Rene Angelil Attend A Hommage To Hockey Player Maurice Richard In Montreal, Canada On October 25, 1999-Rene Angelil And Celine Dion. (Photo by Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Photo by: Russ Einhorn STAR MAX, Inc. - copyright 2002 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Telephone/Fax: (212) 995-1196 5/23/02 Celine Dion and husband Rene at "VH1 Divas Las Vegas". (The MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada) (Star Max via AP Images)
HOLLYWOOD - JANUARY 6: Singer Celine Dion (C) attends a ceremony honoring her with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 6, 2004 in Hollywood, California. Also pictured (L-R): honorary mayor Johnny Grant, Dion's husband Rene Angelil, comedian Jay Leno and Hollywood Chamber president LeRon Gubler. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 15: (ITALY OUT, NY DAILY NEWS OUT, NY NEWSDAY OUT) Celine Dion leaves with her husband Rene Angelil on her way to Madison Square Garden for a performance October 15, 2004 in New York City. (Photos by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)
Celine Dion and Rene Angelil (Photo by Tony Barson/WireImage)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion during Chris Aire Fashion Show at Pure Nightclub - Runway and Front Row at Pure Nightclub in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage)
CANADA - MARCH 02: Rene Angelil's book launching In Montreal, Canada On March 02, 2009-Rene Angelil and Celine Dion (Photo by Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
MONTREAL, CANADA: Canadian singer Celine Dion (L) wipes away tears while speaking at Sainte-Justine Children's Hospital in Montreal, Canada, 18 December, 2002. She and her husband, Rene Angelil (R), became godfather and godmother for the hospital to help raise funds for sick children. AFP PHOTO/Andre Forget (Photo credit should read ANDRE FORGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Celine Dion jokes with her husband, Rene Angelil, while they pose for photos with a wax figure modeled after Dion before her 500th performance at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 7, 2006. The figure was prepared by the Grevin waxworks company of Paris. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Celine Dion hugs her son Rene Charles, and her husband Rene Angelil following the final performance of A New Day at Caesar's Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Canadian singer Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil pose upon arrival at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, southern France, 26 January 2008 to attend the 2008 NRJ Music Awards. AFP PHOTO VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Singer Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil pose in New York, Thursday Dec. 16, 1999, after she was presented a commemorative award by Sony Music in recognition of her career sales of more than 100-million albums. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Canadian singer Celine Dion stands with her husband Rene Angelil in the media center after receiving a special recognition award at the Latin Billboard Awards at the Jckie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach. Fla. Thursday May 9, 2002. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Celine Dion and her husband Rene Angelil pose after she performed on NBC's "Today" show summer concert series in New York's Rockefeller Center Friday, May 17, 2002. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Singer Celine Dion tours the lobby of the new Augustus Tower at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, with her husband Rene Angelil, right, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005. Before the dedication of the hotel's Tower, Dion pledged $1 million to the relief fund for victims of Hurricane Katrina.(AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta)
In this photo released by the Chinese news agency Xinhua, Canadian singer Celine Dion and her husband Rene Angelil attend a TV program in Beijing, China, on Saturday April 12, 2008. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Luo Xiaoguang)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 28: Celine Dion and Rene Angelil arrive at the 'Veronic Voices' Premiere at Bally's Las Vegas on June 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
Canadian singer, Celine Dion, right, poses with her husband René Angelil, left, at the Elysee palace after being awarded of the Legion d'Honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in Paris, Thursday, May 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, poses with Canadian singer Celine Dion, second right, Rene Charles her son, center, Therese Dion her mother, second left, and her husband Rene Angelil, left, after she was awarded with France's Legion d'Honneur, during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris Thursday, May 22, 2008.(AP Photo/Charles Platiau, Pool)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Singers Rene Angelil and Celine Dion arrive at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on February 27, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 22: Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil attend 'BAMBI Awards 2012' at the Stadthalle Duesseldorf on November 22, 2012 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2010 file photo, Celine Dion, left, poses with her husband Rene Angelil, pose as they arrive for the premiere of the film "Celine: Through the Eyes of the World" in Miami Beach, Fla. Celine Dion has given birth to twin boys, just days after being hospitalized as a precaution. A statement released from St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., said that the superstar singer delivered the boys Saturday afternoon. One boy weighed 5 pounds, 10 ounces, while the other weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, file)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07: Celine Dion, Rene Charles Angelil and Rene Angelil attend the Portland Trailblazers Vs. New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Celine Dion, right, poses with her husband Rene Angelil, left, and son Rene Charles Angelil, center, as they arrive for the premiere of the film "Celine : Through the Eyes of the World" in Miami Beach, Fla. Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
KATIE - 4/25/13 - Celine Dion invited Katie Couric into her recording studio for an exclusive conversation about her family, her husband’s cancer diagnosis, and her brand new music, airing on KATIE, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Ronda Churchill/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) CELINE DION, RENE ANGELIL
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"Before I told them that their dad was not there, I talked about when we -- everybody -- gets sick. Then I said, 'Do you remember the movie Up?'" Dion says. "'Oh,' they said, 'Yes, Ellie went up. You know, she, with the balloons.' And I said, 'Well, yeah ... You know, today Papa went up.'"

"The only thing I wanted is for them to say 'up,'" Dion adds about where her sons say their late father went. "Up is a good thing. Up is uplifting."

Dion and her children later released balloons and "pixie dust" into the sky to honor Angélil.

"We're gonna say, 'Papa, we love you. Have a good up, and we're gonna spread this, and it's gonna go to him,'" Dion recalls.

Dion describes more of her intense heartbreak this year in another new interview with People, explaining that she wants to prove to her children that their mother is "strong." She returned to her Las Vegas residency in February, just over a month after Angélil's death. At this Sunday's Billboard Music Awards, she'll be receiving the Icon award and performing.

"René always insisted the show must go on," Dion says. "You know what, I'm 48 years old and I lost the love of my life. I miss him a lot from when he was great but not when he was suffering. I cannot be selfish. You have to let people go. I feel at peace."

The "My Heart Will Go On" singer acknowledges the difficult struggle the two faced in dealing with his three bouts with cancer.

"It's been a long, long journey," Dion says. "We were living in hope, knowing that there's no hope. ... I'm not the type of person who's going to say, 'I know he's going to make it.'"

"There were times when I was very, very scared and he'd write me, 'The end is near, I feel it,'" she says about Angélil eventually losing his ability to talk. "I would go back and say, 'How can you say that? Are you in more pain?' Now I know it's possible for someone dying to feel when it comes."

Although she is clearly devastated, Dion stresses that she's glad Angélil is no longer in pain.

"He left me with all of his strength," she says. "Every day we live with him, just not physically. I'm thankful that he does not suffer anymore."

WATCH: Celine Dion Breaks Down During Emotional Vegas Memorial Honoring Late Husband René Angélil

Last May, Dion talked to ET about postponing her Las Vegas residency at the time to care for her ailing husband.

"It's not hard to take time off," the legendary singer said. "It's not hard to be with him, obviously. It's not hard to be with the family and the kids. It's hard because life imposes things on you."

Angélil died on Jan. 14 at his home in Henderson, Nevada. He was 73 years old.

Watch the video below to see a timeline of Dion and Angélil's epic romance.

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