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Céline Dion prepares for last Christmas with her husband.

It’s a time for merriment and joy, but the mood in the home of singer Céline Dion is likely to be a sombre one.

According to a friend of the French Canadian songbird, 47-year-old Dion – currently on a break from her longstanding stint at Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace – is preparing for what is likely the final holiday period she and her young family will spend with her ailing husband, 73-year-old René Angélil, who is reportedly losing his long battle with throat cancer.

The friend told Closer Weekly: “This is very likely the last Christmas they’ll celebrate with René.”

“But Céline is hopeful by nature, and she puts her trust in her faith. She’s trying to make the most of whatever time they have left with René.”

Céline talks about how she deals with her husband’s illness:

Video via USA Today

Angélil was first diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 and has battled with the disease on and off since then.

Dion met her husband and manager in 1980, when she was 12 and he was 38. He mortgaged his home to fund her first album and the pair began a relationship seven years later, marrying in 1994.

After undergoing IVF, the couple welcomed a son, René-Charles Angelil, in 2001 and twin boys in 2010.

The insider said Dion, known for her emotional love ballads, is determined to keep the mood at home merry for the sake of their children, now aged 14 and five.

“She won’t allow the house to descend into gloom and doom. She does her best to fill her boys’ lives with fun and excitement,” the friend reportedly said.

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“But I also think that every day has become more meaningful to them given what the family is going through.”

Dion has been open about her family’s battle, telling fans at an August concert: “René says to me, ‘I want to die in your arms.'” She says she responded, “OK, fine, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms.”

“I’m scared of losing him because it’s bad. But I have to show myself, my husband and my kids that I’m strong and that we’re okay.”

Our thoughts are with Dion and her family.

*Featured image via Facebook/Céline Dion.

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