Haunted by agony of how he died - Widow of man mauled to death by dogs leaning on God's strength
Busying herself with preparations for the September 1 funeral of her husband Whittington, Norma Cole is haunted by the agony he must have endured while being mauled to death by a pack of dogs on the night of Saturday, July 21 in Hampton Green, St Catherine.
"It was a rough situation to deal with and I'm torn. I'm hurt. Not just because of him dying but because of the way he died, and I question what was going through his mind when he was on the ground and the dogs were attacking him. What was he saying? How him feel? All of that," she lamented.
Married for 44 years with four children (two boys, two girls) and grandchildren, Whittington Cole, an ordained deacon, was a strict man of God, Norma recalls.
"When it comes to the word of God, he stand up for it and believed that persons who are children of God must stick to the principles of God. Him was very stern where that was concerned and him nuh skin. Put it that way him nuh skin up, him very stern," the grieving widow shared with The Gleaner news team from her home on Monday.
And she did put on a brave face during our visit. When a family friend who came calling shouted out, "Norma Cole!" the response was swift and feisty.
She fired back: "That's my name, not my gate number!"
When we enquired about her ability to cope in light of the stressful situation, Mrs Cole responded with a few lines of song, before going into a fulsome explanation.
"You are my strength,
Strength like no other,
Strength like no other."
"My Heavenly Father gave me that strength. You have your ups and your downs. There are days when you feel like you're all down, you can't go nuh further. Sometimes I don't want to go anywhere. I just sit in the house and take a deep breath because it hurts," she disclosed.
DRAWING ON SUPPORT FROM ALL AROUND
The adult children, their spouses and the grandchildren are part of the support group with members of the church family from the Faith Christian Missionary Church of God, at 19 Ricketts Crescent, Kingston 13, also an integral part of that inner circle from which Norma draws strength.
Even though he is no longer around, Whittington set a high Christian standard outside his family circle, for which he was remembered by Glenville Dayle, an elder at the nearby Hampton Green Gospel Chapel, where Cole was a congregant for about a year.
Dayle told The Gleaner: "We spoke a lot and he was a very attentive person, very spiritual and he loved the Lord really, and his mission was to tell others about the Lord Jesus. So is really a tragedy when we hear what happen to him."
For Sylvan Dandy, at whose house Cole often stopped during his walks, theirs was a friendship born out of their involvement in the church.
"I know him as a spiritual man. We used to go on fasting and prayer and most times him is the man who really run the fasting down at the church. Him will come here and siddung with me and we talk about God and family and other things. For a man who deliver God's message and go out to show the world what God can do for each and every one, I couldn't believe when I hear what happened to him," said Dandy.