updated 12/08/2003 AT 1:00 AM ET
•originally published 12/08/2003 AT 1:00 PM ET
Hours after Celine Dion learned of her father Adhemar Dion’s death on Nov. 30, she was on a plane to Montreal, reports PEOPLE.
Accompanied by her husband, Rene Angelil, and their nearly 3-year-old son, Rene-Charles, the pop star spent Monday with her 13 brothers and sisters at her chateau in Laval, on Montreal’s north shore. (Adhemar Dion was 80. No cause of death has been announced.)
On Tuesday afternoon, the singer, 35, greeted the public for two hours at a Laval funeral home. “I really, really appreciate all the support I’ve been getting,” Dion said. “My family and I are really grateful. It’s such a painful loss, and I’m very thankful for all the support.”
The star shook hands with several hundred family members, friends and fans, kissing many on both cheeks in typical Quebec tradition, and thanking each. Wearing her white-blonde hair in a bun, Dion had on very little makeup, and what there was had been washed away by tears. She remained with her family for several more hours before heading back to her chateau.
After the service, she left the church with a furrowed brow. Tears welled in her eyes behind her sunglasses. When waiting fans sang a traditional Quebec song, she smiled and waved to them, mouthing the words “thank you” in French.