The story of Eurydice has been misunderstood. What the story is about is the solitariness of death. Eurydice is in hell in her graveclothes. She believes that Orpheus loves her enough to come and save her. And indeed Orpheus comes. But in the end the love Orpheus feels is not strong enough. Orpheus leaves his beloved behind and returns to his own life.

The story of Eurydice reminds us that as of the moment of death we lose all power to elect our companions. We are whirled away to our allotted fate; by whose side we get to pass eternity is not for us to decide.

J. M. Coetzee The Diary of A Bad Year

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