In life, as in death, we are as one.

When speaking or writing of death, or a death, I tend to lean on things which I have written before to give some balance to my words. I read, many years ago, of the ‘Elysian fields’ of Greek mythology, and remember them partly because of the illustration given them by one of the teachers from my schooldays. He stands out in my memory partly for his teaching, for his manner of passing information almost imperceptibly, and partly because he was just about the only teacher who didn’t use some variation of a fist when ‘correcting’ us.

He told us that the Greeks believed that the Elysian Fields, populated by those who had died, gave them all a means of an everlasting ‘achievement’ in their chosen area of expertise. If you had been a warrior, you were matched against an opponent who was your equal in every way, and you fought and struggled, until nearly beaten, but then you were given a final burst or infusion of guile, and defeated him at the last gasp. You then celebrated, slept; and the next day did it all over again. It probably seems a little simplistic, but hey: it beats 72 virgins!

I was reminded of this just today, when reading of a Warrior who realised that he was judged worthy of a true salute by fellow Sailors. Does me good just to read it.


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