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Wife's poem moves widower to tears

David Cole, from Headcorn, with the poem written by his wife, Norma.
David Cole, from Headcorn, with the poem written by his wife, Norma.

Throughout her life, Norma Cole loved words and poetry.

And while she was dying she used her poetic flair to help her family come to terms with her death.

Mrs Cole, 68, was treated for bowel cancer in July last year, then doctors discovered she was suffering from terminal liver cancer. She died at home in December last year.

She shunned medical intervention to try to lead as normal a life as possible.

But as her health deteriorated her husband, David, 70, became her carer.

Mrs Cole summoned the strength to pen one of her own poems inside an anniversary card for her husband.

The card was placed in a drawer - with express instructions from Mrs Cole that her husband was not to open it until October 28 this year, the couple’s 47th anniversary.

Mr Cole, of Knowles Gardens, Headcorn, fought back tears when he read her poem, in which she described how she will think about him as the seasons change.

This week, a year after his wife’s death, he paid tribute to her.

He said: “When we knew she was going to die, I often used to say I wish we could both go together, so we could stay together.

“I think what she did is amazing and very unusual but I firmly believe it was her way of saying she is still with me.”

Mrs Cole also wrote a letter praising her husband and son, Stuart, which she placed in a sealed envelope to be read out at her funeral.

The couple met and married in 1961. They lived in Shepway and Park Wood, Maidstone, before moving to Headcorn in 1999.

Unable to have their own children, they adopted Stuart as a baby in 1972. Now 35, he is married to Ann and works at Wincanton distribution company in Snodland.

Mrs Cole gave up work and had taught Stuart to read before he started primary school. Mr Cole added: “Norma just loved words and Stuart has a love of reading and writing too, although he never took to poetry.”

Mr Cole plans to get his wife’s poem printed and framed.

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