Billy Bob boots up Tomb Raider on his PlayStation. He loads the saved game from his memory card and it loads up the level he is on. Then Billy controls Lara in a sloppily manner, so that she dies. Now he (obviously) chooses to load from the last save game.
Since the level is already loaded into RAM at this point, you would think that, immediately after Billy presses the "OK" button to load the save, minus the time it takes to access the file on the memory card (which is near-instant), Lara and every other "object" in the 3D world would simply be insta-reset to their original positions, without any need for it to access the game disc at all. (Or maybe just to start some music playing in the beginning, which was not playing at the time the game was over, and had already been unloaded from memory.)
However, in actuality, there is the same "Loading..." screen as when you originally load the game/level. It appears to forget anything loaded into the work memory of the PlayStation and starts over from scratch. Every. Single. Time.
In contrast, some PC games (including at least one copy of Tomb Raider, although it could contain mods/hacks which I'm unaware of) appear to instantly put back Lara to the original position when you load the save game. No loading/accessing any disc once it's in the RAM. Not even a brief flash to a "loading" screen.
What could possibly explain this? It was a big deal to have to wait each time, yet this practice continued for the subsequent PS Lara games (at least up until 3). Why? Was there a technical reason for having players wait for it to re-load the asset data from the disc each and every time you die. (And it sure happened many a time during a normal playthrough...)