Dame Deborah James' two brave children read poems at her funeral

·2-min read


Dame Deborah James' children each read a poem during her emotional funeral service.
The author, presenter and campaigner died aged 40 last month after a battle with bowel cancer, and she was laid to rest on Wednesday (20.07.22) at St Mary's Church in Barnes.
During the service, her 14-year-old son Hugo - who also carried his mother's coffin into church alongside his father Sebastien Bowen - read a self-written poem, while his 12-year-old sister Eloise also read out a piece.
Deborah's husband Sebastien delivered a eulogy, while classically-trained jazz singer Natalie Rushdie - who is a family friend - performed 'Tell Me It's Not True' from the musical 'Blood Brothers'.
Following the service, the family left the church in silence with their heads bowed and left for a private wake.
Lorraine Kelly and Gaby Roslin - who were both friends of the late star - were in attendance and spotted with a wreath of white flowers.
There was a note attached, which read: "Deborah, thank you to our extraordinary friend. You together with Seb, Eloise and Hugo are such an important part of our family, we will love and miss you forever."
As well as Deborah's family, other guests included McFly singer Tom Fletcher and his wife Giovanna.
Before her death, Deborah - who had just gone into hospice care at her parents' home at the time - revealed she had already arranged her own funeral service.
She said: "It sounds morbid, but I want a sombre funeral in black and white because I think people look good in black and white.
"There’s a big church in Barnes and I’ll leave Seb to decide on the reception, as long as there is tequila.
"Being a teacher, I was thinking about all the different things I could get people to do. I’m thinking of asking people to bring a picture or a funny anecdote, so my family have something to remember."
Deborah passed away on June 28, and when her family revealed the sad news, they also included some advice from the late star.
They wrote: "A few final things from Deborah… 'find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.' "

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