Natalie Cole's sisters reveal she suffered in private: 'She didn't want to draw attention to herself'

While the world was shocked when Natalie Cole, passed away on December 31, the legendary singer’s sisters, Timolin and Casey Cole, told Entertainment Tonight that their sister suffered in private.

Nicole, who died of congestive heart failure, battled health issues for years, including Hepatitis C for which she underwent a kidney transplant back in 2009. Casey admitted to ET that the “Unforgettable” singer did not want to draw attention to herself, adding that her sister treasured her privacy.

Timolin, Natalie and Casey Cole Photo: Getty Images

Casey said, "[Natalie] was very protective of her family and her close friends, and I don't think that she wanted people to start feeling sorry for her. She really thought and prayed that she would overcome this."

The family knew this last Christmas would be their final one together. "When we came to the hospital and spent Christmas Eve with her it was a godsend," Timolin revealed. "We were very blessed and thankful to spend that very special day with her that she loved. It was her favorite time of year."

Robert and his late mother Natalie Cole Photo: Getty Images

According to Timolin, Natalie’s 38-year-old son, Robert Yancy is having a “hard time" with his mother's passing. She revealed he was “very close” to his late mom, so “it’s going to be a process.”

Following her death, Natalie's son and sisters released a statement reading, "Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived ... with dignity, strength and honor. Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever."

More about