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Heartbreaking Meaning Behind Dame Deborah James' Funeral Song

Gabriella Ferlita

Published 
| Last updated 

Heartbreaking Meaning Behind Dame Deborah James' Funeral Song

Featured Image Credit: @bowelbabe/Instagram

Dame Deborah James’ funeral was held today as her family said their final goodbyes as they laid the campaigner to rest.

Deborah, affectionately known as Bowelbabe online, campaigned for months and raised nearly £7 million for cancer research, before being honoured as a ‘Dame’.

The 40-year-old writer, podcaster and campaigner sadly passed away last month after her battle with bowel cancer.

Deborah previously revealed her funeral wishes, telling others that she wanted a ‘tequila-filled funeral’ that would celebrate her life.

The campaigner also revealed one of the funeral songs she wanted to be played at the service - 'Tell Me It’s Not True' from Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers.

Deborah’s family members, including her husband Sebastian James and their two children – 14-year-old Hugo and 12-year-old Eloise – attended to lay her to rest, fulfilling her final wish to play the solemn musical track.

The lyrics of the song say: “Tell me it's not true / Say it's just a story / Something on the news.”

In a previous interview with The Sunday Times, Deborah revealed that as part of her funeral wishes, she wanted to have a ‘sombre’ church service and be cremated.

The campaigner also revealed one of the funeral songs she wanted to be played at the service - Tell Me It’s Not True from Willy Russel’s Blood Brothers. Credit: Getty Images
The campaigner also revealed one of the funeral songs she wanted to be played at the service - Tell Me It’s Not True from Willy Russel’s Blood Brothers. Credit: Getty Images

She said during the interview in May: "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,” she said.

Last month, Deborah's family confirmed the devastating news of her passing in a statement.

They said: "Dame Deborah James. We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family.

"Deborah, who many of you will know as Bowelbabe, was an inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her and her work and commitment to charitable campaigning, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness of cancer that touched so many lives.

"Deborah shared her experience with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation around cancer. Even in her most challenging moments, her determination to raise money and awareness was inspiring.

"We thank you for giving us time in private as a family, and we look forward to continuing Deborah’s legacy long into the future through the @bowelbabefund.

"Thank you for playing your part in her journey, you are all incredible.

"And 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.' x."

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Topics: Music, Celebrity, News, Health

Gabriella Ferlita
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