How Celine Dion has been healing after the deaths of her husband and brother

Last year, the singer lost her husband and brother within days of each other.

ByABC News
September 8, 2017, 12:48 PM

— -- In early 2016, Grammy winner Celine Dion lost not only her husband René Angélil to cancer, but also her brother Daniel to the very same disease.

Dion had been married to Angélil since 1994, who had been her manager. The 73-year-old lost his second battle with throat cancer, which had lasted more than a year.

Just two days later, on Jan. 16, 2016, Dion lost her brother Daniel Dion, who had spent his final days in a palliative care residence outside of Montreal, Canada, in their home province of Quebec.

Now more than a year and a half removed from heartbreak, Dion spoke to People magazine about how her entry into the fashion world has helped take her mind off her losses as she focuses on growing her budding business.

"It’s amazing how a little bit of fantasy can alter our moods," the 49-year-old told the magazine.

Dion decided to delve into some of her lesser-known interests.

"I’ve always loved fashion, from as far back as I can remember," she said. "But as everyone knows, I’ve gone through some extremely difficult times in recent years, and I suppose that I’m spreading my wings a little bit more these days and doing so with the help of beautiful clothing and accessories."

Fashion and running a business can "have a huge influence on how we feel from day-to-day," Dion said.

"Fashion is fun. Fashion is fantasy," she added. "It can often provide the escape that we need to take our minds of our daily problems, even if only for a short but necessary time."

Months after her husband's death last year, Dion sat down with ABC News and described their final moments together and what she told the love of her life.

"You were worrying for my career. You were worrying for the children. You were worrying for everything. It's enough," she said she told him. "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.”

Dion and Angélil have three children together, Rene'Charles, Nelson and Eddy. She described how she explained his death to the kids.

"I said, ‘Do you remember the movie 'Up?'" she told ABC News. "They said, 'Yes, Ellie went up.' You know, she with the balloons. And I said, 'Well, yeah. You know, today, Papa went up.'"