Hundreds of people lined up Thursday outside the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal to remember René Angélil, famed music manager and husband of Celine Dion, who died of throat cancer on January 14. It was the same church where the couple was married 21 years ago, and where their son, René-Charles, was baptized in 2001.
CTV News reports Dion met with friends, loved ones, and countless strangers who were there to express their condolences. She was expected to attend for only a few minutes, but stayed by her husband’s side for hours, even when she was too tired to stand. The memorial was live-streamed by local television. She handed out cards to well-wishers that read:
“I understood that my career was in a way his masterpiece, his song, his symphony. The idea of leaving it unfinished would have hurt him terribly. I realized that if he ever left us, I would have to continue without him, for him.”
Angélil’s funeral will be held at the basilica on Friday afternoon. There will be a celebration of his life stateside on February 3, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.