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cecile s. yumul
cecile s yumul MY FELLOW dog lovers, your messages came to me as I was mourning the death of my dearest dog, Julius, whom I have always considered my son. He died one November night. I cried the whole night while watching over his body that I laid in the garden, waiting for the sun to rise so he could be properly buried. I had to come in to open my computer to do the guide script for a radio show. As they say, the show must go on. I always check my e-mail before working. As soon as I checked my inbox I received one forwarded email on exactly about how someone we love so dearly would just go away from this our present world. That was when I decided to check on the date of the forwarded message. It was the day before my son started having seizures.

The very next day, Julius suddenly had seizures like he was undergoing a heart attack. I gave him first aid. Right after my radio show, I brought him to the vet, his doctor for more than ten years. There was no illness, no signs of anything, so he was given vitamins to improve blood circulation, because, by human age, Julius was already more than seventy years old. Doc said it might be epileptic seizures, nothing we can do about. For three days the seizures went on and when they subsided Julius was able to stand up, though wobbly, and eat a little again. I was bracing myself, all ready to let him go if he must. When I came home after a meeting, I gave him milk. I got him ready for bed in our room downstairs where I have my computer and other equipment, which I refer to as my workroom. I made him wear one of my polo shirts because it was an air-conditioned room. Instinctively, I picked him up to embrace and tell him how much I love him, which I knew he knew. He breathed a very deep sigh and just like that his head fell to the side. His heart stopped beating. I felt a rush of urine come out of him. I could only utter endless sounds, calling out his name, rocking him in a tight embrace. My son just waited for me to come home before his exit from this world, cradled in my arms the way I always put him to sleep when he was much younger.

In the midst of tears, I dressed him up laid out in a white blanket on a table in the garden. We, by that I mean myself and the rest of my dogs, kept vigil. We lighted the garden with candles and incense. Before midnight, Marjorie, my niece, who equally loves my dogs came to join me after I called her up to tell the sad news. In the morning, Jet, a former student and friend, came very early, to help us bury Julius. I chose the most serene spot in the garden, where I always sat to meditate and pray. God just knows the perfect way to make us feel alright. Suddenly, upon where Jet was digging, the brightest sunrays struck the grave pit—I had my camera with me to capture the scene. When we laid his body in the grave, I caught with my camera the same thing happen again, with Julius's body bathed in bright sun rays—the vision was much like the ones we see in pictures depicting the Ascencion. I just stopped crying and shot some more frames. When my other dogs came to look at Julius for the last time, as we were burying him the sunrays were gone for awhile. After some minutes, I told Jet that it was okay, that he could cover the grave with soil. I got back to my camera to take pictures. Again, in the first frame when Jet started to shovel, the sunrays struck the grave pit. I felt a quiet joy in my heart, the lamentation all gone. Throughout the burial, I did not cry anymore. I felt that Julius was lifted to heaven, even before his physical body could be covered with soil.

I miss him, of course, ever since that day. I find my eyes shedding tears, but it is with acceptance and knowing that I've got my Angel Dog watching over me now wherever I am and at whatever I do. I may not be able to take him physically with me to jeepney rides, instead Julius is always with me. Distance is no hindrance anymore with him accompanying me in my voyages remaining in this lifetime. Thank you, fellow dog lovers. You were God's messengers to help me accept Julius's death. God knows just how much I loved Julius.

[About the author. A renaissance social worker, a revolutionary teacher, a supporter of artists, a trail-blazing woman of substance, Cecile S. Yumul is an embodiment of the phrase "Carpe diem!" This multi-awarded teacher/broadcast journalist started her broadcasting career over 27 years ago. Her radio/tv show "Bukas Bayan" has been on air since 1999 and is still airing with a multi-sectoral fan base. She is an accomplished cook, a mystic gardener, an actress, and a true environmentalist—a distinction she is indeed proud of.]

-Posted: 8:53 AM 12/13/11 | More of this author on eK!