Who could wholeheartedly embrace the idea that his dear dead companions have really disappeared from his life?
Maybe this feeling of regret made men to believe in afterlife. Though it appears to be a case when the feelings modified the right rationality, many visions of afterlife prove an excess of rationality.
More rational than in the real life, the afterlife is set in a moral order and men, who generally have not a stable place, are put in definite places. For instance, the paradise of the good ones gives them an identity never attained by any place where living men live.
Without believing in afterlife, the memory of the dead companions wants to follow the same pattern. It is bent to emphasize the common life with the dead persons and to offer it a deeper sense than it really had. The life spent together is required to be understood through memory, though friendship and love are commonly placed above understanding.
In both cases, we might say that there are two ways of escaping from the feelings of regret. The excess of rationality stops and balances the sentimental excess. And both manners of dealing with others’ death are largely accepted in the social life.
Nonetheless, the renouncement to such rational palliatives is felt as a sort of betray of the dead companions. Perhaps, because we feel as harmful the renouncement to a social pattern of dissolution of our feelings for lost people.