Ill Disposal by Clara Sarrocco

Ill Disposal

Clara Sarrocco on the Disrespect of Human Composting

One day many years ago, in a moment of adolescent hubris, I said to my mother, "Why is such a fuss made over burying the dead? After I am dead, I don't care what happens to my body." After a pause, she responded, "I had to sweat blood to bring you into the world, and that is what you think of it." My mother knew the corporal works of mercy.

At the time, I had never heard of Sophocles' play Antigone, in which the eponymous heroine defies King Creon's orders not to bury her brother Polyneices, who had died in battle and whom the king deemed a traitor unworthy of burial. Antigone proclaimed that her right to bury Polyneices came from "the immutable unwritten laws of Heaven. They were not born today nor yesterday; they die not; and none knoweth whence they sprang."

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Clara Sarrocco is the longtime secretary of The New York C. S. Lewis Society. She has taught classes on C. S. Lewis at the Institute for Religious Studies at St. Joseph's Seminary and is the president of the Long Island Chapter of University Faculty for Life. Her articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including Touchstone, New Oxford Review, Gilbert, The Chesterton Review, St. Austin's Review, and The International Philosophical Quarterly.

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