I SHOT MY FATHER WITH HIS OWN SHOTGUN!!!
On Saturday, 22 November, 2008, I shot my Father with his own shotgun.He deserved it. And he gave me permission to do it. I used a Marlin Model 24 12 ga. Pump to do the deed. Me and and about 20 other people blew him all over a field.
Let me explain why we did this. It wasn’t because we all hated my Father, but rather because we loved and respected him.
My Father, 87, was a life long avid small game hunter. There was no outdoor activity he enjoyed more. He died on 6 November, 2008. While going through his things about a week before his death with my son and my sister, we found a box of shot shells. Someone said “Hey, let’s shoot these at his burial in salute”. That sounded great. Then, as a joke, my son, who is a reloader, said “You know what might be an even better idea? Grandpa wants to be cremated. I could load some of his remains into these shells in place of the shot.” Well, the “Joke” started to take hold. The more people we told about the idea, the more it sounded like something my Father would like. So, 3 days before he died, while he was very weak but lucid, we told him of our plan. He laughed, for the last time in his life, at the proposal. He said “Go for it!!”
The shotgun is a family heirloom that had been purchased in 1917 by my Grandfather and passed down to my Father, then to me and currently owned by my son. The perfect gun for the “Family Salute”. My Father had told often of using the old Winchester “Yellow Shells” (Black Powder) during the 1930’s to put meat on the table during the Depression. He used these shells because they were all he could afford. They were 73 cents per box of 25 in 1937. Smokeless loads were twice as much. So, we decided to use Black Powder for our “Special” Loads. On the day of the graveside memorial, my son loaded 21 shells with 30grs. of Black Powder and filled the shell up with his Grandpa’s ashes, put a wad over the top and sealed it with a hot glue gun.
Later at the cemetery, we met with the guys who were to conduct the Veteran’s Salute (My Father was in the 214th 90mm Anti-Aircraft Artillery in Europe in WW-II) and told them of our plans to blast my Father all over the field with our “Special” shells before their ceremony. They all agreed that they had heard of a lot of ways of “Scattering” the ashes, but none had ever heard of using a shot gun.
So, it was done, among many chuckles, not sadness, just as my Father would have liked. Even the Minister presiding at the grave-side took part saying “I have to shoot one. I’ll never get another chance to blast a man with a shot gun!!”