Many fans gathered outside the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal to pay their respects to the legendary Canadian singer and manager. Angelil died of throat cancer on Jan. 14, two days before what would have been his 74th birthday.
The program for the wake included a moving message from Dion, who wrote the following in both French and English:
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 for him, without him.
Days after her husband's death, Dion also lost her brother, Daniel, who died at 59 after fighting his own battle with cancer.
Angelil's funeral is being held on Friday at the cathedral, where thousands are expected to be on hand. Those unable to attend can view the proceedings on Canadian television, or livestream the service. In honor of Angelil, who was born in Quebec, the Premier of the city, Philippe Couillard, has declared this a national funeral.
Remarkably, to ease the burden on his wife, Angelil made his own funeral arrangements before he died.