5

Is there a poem or other passage of classical Latin about the following sentiment? I prefer poetry, but good hits in prose are also welcome. It need not — and indeed should not — be the same word for word, but capture the essence of a similar set of emotions.

A loved one has been ill for a long time and has finally passed away. Although there is sorrow of loss, the relief for their suffering coming to an end is far stronger.

(This is not something I am going through at the moment, but someone else I know.)

  • 2
    There's definitely at least one letter by Pliny that addresses this scenario, and I believe it even includes a pithy little saying or two to summarize. I'll try to dig it up later this evening. – cnread Jun 6 '18 at 22:41
  • @cnread If you (or anyone else) can find that passage in Pliny, that would be great, even though I just accepted another answer. – Joonas Ilmavirta Jun 26 '18 at 13:22
3

One part of Evander's speech of mourning for his son Pallas can be taken out of context to convey the sentiment you are aiming for:

'non haec, o Palla, dederas promissa parenti,
cautius ut saeuo uelles te credere Marti.
haud ignarus eram quantum noua gloria in armis
et praedulce decus primo certamine posset.
primitiae iuuenis miserae bellique propinqui
dura rudimenta, et nulli exaudita deorum
uota precesque meae! tuque, o sanctissima coniunx,
felix morte tua neque in hunc seruata dolorem!

contra ego uiuendo uici mea fata, superstes
restarem ut genitor. (Aeneid XI.152-61)

In context, Evander means that his wife is lucky that death spared her from the sorrow of seeing her son die. I see no reason, though, that we can't construe "in hunc servata dolorem" as referring to the difficult last days of an illness.

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