Dame Deborah James’ husband has spoken for the first time of his grief and recalled her ‘peaceful’ death.
Sebastian Bowen married Dame Deborah in 2008 and the pair enjoyed 14 happy years together before the beloved campaigner died of bowel cancer this year.
The banker, who shares two children with the former broadcaster, has spoken out for the first time since her death, saying he remains ‘so proud’ of his wife.
Father-of-two Bowen said that, after all her fighting, Dame Deborah had an ‘incredibly peaceful death’ and was surrounded by those who loved her.
He told The Sun that he held her hand as she died and reminded her of her how proud he was of her, after her efforts to raise awareness of the disease and raising millions for charity.
Recalling the moment of her death, he said: ‘I kissed her on the head, I told her how much I loved her, that I would look after the kids and the last thing I said to her was that I was so proud of her.
‘Then she slipped away,’ he said, adding that in the end, ‘it was quite spiritual.’
Bowen, 42, who had children Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, with Dame Deborah, says he remains in ‘total awe’ of his wife and all she achieved.
Asked what he would miss most about her, he instantly replied ‘her magic.’
‘Her way of finding joy in every moment – even in the darkest of times.’
Bowen added it was a ‘rare thing’ and part of ‘what made her unique.’
In the last seven weeks of her life alone Deborah was made a Dame and had the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, over for tea at her parents’ home to accept the honour.
On top of raising £7.4 million for cancer research, Dame Deborah also launched a clothing line, designing charity T-shirts to raise another £1 million for her BowelBabe Fund.
Dame Deborah was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, and spent the next five-and-a-half years urging everyone to ‘Check your poo!’ for symptoms of the disease.
The ex-deputy headmaster spent almost every minute until her death raising awareness and campaigning.
She was laid to rest on July 20 in a private ceremony attended by close friends, family and a host of celebrities including presenters Lorraine Kelly, Gaby Roslin and McFly singer Tom Fletcher.
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