When a funeral is held in a crematorium chapel, I can hear a faint rumble from somewhere only the staff know well. The grieving family, teary eyes fixed upon the glossy coffin would not notice, but I know a cremator door has just been opened and another body has succumbed to flames.
This morning, I stood at the back of the chapel in my suit and tie as the eulogy taught us that Philip had travelled the world and served in the Airforce. As the eulogy was delivered, I heard the familiar faint rumble from the cremator, and it occurred to me what this sound reminded me of.
Years ago I worked in the Qantas Lounge at the International airport. Although I could not see the runway, my bones rattled as each jet plane took off into the sky.
This is the same noise I hear at the crematory! And it rattles my sternum just the same. I bowed my head and paid my respects to the worldly pilot who had taken off from the runway so many times in his career. The next time he would hear this jet-like roar would be when the retort doors lifted and his coffin pushed into a journey of another kind.
The following video was played at Philip’s funeral today.