Before Celine Dion takes a concerted step forward with a performance of "The Show Must Go On" at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, she's looking back at a tragedy that changed her life only months ago.

René Angélil, Dion's husband, died in January at 73 after a third battle with cancer. She'd previously suspended her Las Vegas concert series in 2014 to care for him, but returned to the stage in 2015 per his encouragement, and in an interview with People posted today (May 17), she said he was always the type to inspirit her to press forward.

"René always insisted the show must go on," she said. "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."

Still, she admits there moments close to Angélil's death — during which he'd lost the ability to speak — that felt especially grim.

"There were times when I was very, very scared and he'd write me 'The end is near, I feel it,'" she explained. "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."

"We were living in hope, knowing that there's no hope," she added.

Still, she insists Angélil's death is not in vain, and says his legacy is alive and well within her and her three sons.

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

Read more from the interview here, and check out the full story in Friday's (May 20) print issue of People.

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