Pop Culture

Céline Dion, Kathie Lee Gifford bond after losing husbands: We were 'extremely lucky' in love

Kathie Lee Gifford welcomed Céline Dion as the fourth-hour guest co-host on Friday and the singer shared a story of strength so powerful it brought Gifford to tears.

Dion talked candidly about how she and her three children have coped since the loss of her husband and manager René Angélil, who died of throat cancer at 73 in January.

"My kids are doing great, so I'm doing great — and if I'm doing great then my kids are doing well," said the 48-year-old Canadian superstar.

But, Dion echoed sentiments she shared on TODAY earlier that learning how to care for herself and the children — 15-year-old René-Charles and 5-year-old twins Eddy and Nelson — without Angélil has been an adjustment.

The singer said her biggest responsibility these days is to "take charge" and "be the best mother possible." That means helping her youngest children understand death.

RELATED: ‘He loved me so much’: Celine Dion talks ‘journey’ since losing husband

Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Celine Dion cohosts the fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford

"To see (Angélil) suffer so much was very, very difficult for everyone," she told Gifford, whose own husband, Frank Gifford, passed away in 2015.

RELATED: Céline Dion mourns 'love of my life' René Angélil, but says she's 'at peace'

"I look at my children and I see him through their eyes. I tell them that dad is not gone. He lives within us. He's in our heart," said Dion, who revealed that she used lessons from the movie "Up" to help the twins understand that their father is free from suffering now.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images
LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 03: Singer Celine Dion and her husband and manager Rene Angelil pose after Dion performed at the 41st annual Labor Day Telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association at the South Coast Hotel & Casino September 3, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

"'Papa is not coming back,'" Dion said she told the twins. "'Once you go up, there is no boo-boo. Papa is talking, he's eating, he's having a good time but he's in our heart. He's watching down.'"

Dion said after finding Eddy kissing a photograph of his father goodnight, she's turned it into a nightly ritual.

RELATED: Celine Dion reveals Pink wrote song to help her 'keep going' after husband's death

"I have to tell you that I feel very strong because my husband had given all of us wonderful luggage," Dion told Gifford.

"I lost the man of my life. But I cannot live thinking this way," she said. "I have to say, 'I found the best man in the world' — like you did for yourself."

"And we were both extremely lucky," said Dion.

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Celine Dion returning to the stage; will honor late husband

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Celine Dion returning to the stage; will honor late husband

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