cemetery or graveyard with graves and black fence and leaves and treesDo people have the unalienable right to a proper burial (or other respectful treatment) of their body upon death?

Do people have the unalienable right to bury (or otherwise respectfully treat) the bodies of their immediate family members upon death?

If your government believes the answer to these is no, do you have the unalienable right to demand a burial (or other respectful treatment) for your immediate family member, and if your demands are not met, defy your government by enacting a makeshift burial (or other respectful treatment) outside its borders?

Do these questions remind you of a certain famous ancient Greek play?

The novel Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie sure reminded me of a certain famous ancient Greek play. I would like to believe I would’ve noticed the similarities on my own, but Shamsie kindly put the idea into my head from the get-go. The book’s epitaph—oops! I mean, the book’s epigraph is pulled from Seamus Heaney’s translation of Antigone by Sophocles:

“The ones we love . . . are enemies of the state.”

Like Antigone, Home Fire is about familial love and romantic love, border crossings and makeshift burials, headstrong leaders and enemies of the state.

What do you think about dead bodies?

(Oh yeah . . . and happy Halloween!)

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