There are quite a lot of drownings in classical literature. I don’t know whether this is because people just drowned more often – like maybe they didn’t learn to swim at summer camp like a lot of modern folk do – or if it’s more that there’s a certain metaphorical pleasure in the concept of drowning. It leaves so many opportunities for correlations to the water of tears and the water that took the loved one’s life.
I don’t know if I’m just lucky – but I’ve never lost anyone to drowning. In literature, though, I have lost a lot of the beloved characters – either the characters themselves, like Ophelia or the authors like Virginia Woolf.
It’s elemental, I suppose that’s part of its appeal.