Arts & Life
3:11 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Remember the departed with a bang!

The passing of a friend or a loved one is never easy to deal with. Some people send flowers to remember the deceased, while others may deliver a heartfelt eulogy at the memorial service. A Stockton, Alabama company has come up with a new way to remember friends who liked to go hunting during their lives. The business, known as Holy Smoke, provides a more lively method of remembering the departed…They put people’s cremated remains into various types of ammunition.

Thad Holmes and Clem Parnell founded the company less than a year ago. Parnell says the idea came about one evening while the two were working and discussing a recent death in his family.

“Thad asked me, he said, “what would you like done if YOU passed away?” I said, “ I think I wanna be cremated. If I’m cremated, I’d like some of my ashes re-loaded into shotgun shells and passed around amongst some of my friends that turkey hunt and let them shoot a turkey with some of my ashes in the shell, and the last thing this turkey sees is me screaming at him at twelve hundred feet per second.”

Now, the notion of loading what’s left of a friend into a shotgun may sound like a far cry from flowers or a donation to a charity. But, Holmes says their specialized ammunition isn’t meant to take the place of a traditional memorial service.

“Everything that we offer is for after the funeral and after the mourning has been done. What we offer people a chance to go beyond that and celebrate that person’s life on a continuing basis.”

Parnell and Holmes say their business is aimed at the avid outdoorsman, and gun enthusiasts, who are easy to find in the southern United States. However, what started as a regional concept has now spread all over the country. With the increase in business, Holy Smoke is able to give their customers what they want, the chance to go out with a bang.