111 quotes about coping with grief and loss

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Even in the darkest moments of life, words can provide comfort and light.

This collection of 111 quotes about death and grief includes a variety of perspectives and insights that can help to understand and cope with the pain of loss.

From famous thinkers and poets to well-known figures from different cultures and times, these quotes offer insights that remind us that loss and grief are part of human life and that there is hope and healing, even in the midst of the darkest days.





Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then the worms eat you. Be grateful it happens in that order.

David Gerrold, american writer and actor

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.

George Eliott, British writer and translator

I’m not afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.

Woody Allen, American film director and autor

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.

Albert Pike, American author, poet, orator, editor, lawyer

I think at a certain point you can choose to sort of fall from this, or you can choose to rise. And that’s what I’m just trying to do.

Lea Michele, american actor and singer

If you have good friends and your family’s support, it’s just something that’s a horrible situation. But hopefully it will heal and you try to get through it but it’s something that is a reality in life.

Sylvester Stallone, American actor

The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman politician, lawyer, orator, and philosopher 

Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75. Benjamin Franklin Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily. 

Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor and military commander

Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.

Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor and military commander

Death cannot rob you of what you carry deep in your heart?
What one posseses deep in the heart will not even be lost through death?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, german writer, playwright, novelist

He who crosses a river must leave one side.

Mahatma Gandhi, Indian lawyer and publicist

Death smiles at us all; all we can do is smile back.

Marcus Aurelius, roman emperor and stoic philosopher

You live twice: once in reality, the second time, in memories.

Honoré de Balzac, French writer

The meaning of life is that it ends.

Franz Kafka, Austrian writer

No one knows death, nor does anyone know whether it is not the greatest gift for mankind. Nevertheless, it is feared as if it were certain that it is the worst of all evils.

Socrates, ancient Greek philosopher

The only thing of importance, when we depart, will be the traces of love we have left behind.

Albert Schweitzer, german-french doctor and philosopher

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.

Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and stoic philosopher

If you seek me, seek me in your hearts. If I have found a place there, I will always be with you.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian poet of German and French languages.

And the soul, unguarded, wants to soar freely, to live deeply and a thousandfold in the magic circle of the night.

Hermann Hesse, German writer and poet

Nothing was in vain when we must leave one day. What remains is the love we have given. What remains is the hope we have planted in others’ hearts. What remains is the faith that lets us see beyond death. What remains are the good words we have spoken. All this remains—nothing was in vain.

Roland Breiterbach, German writer

See the clouds drifting in the sky, watch them and think of me. Life was only borrowed, and a cloud—that is me.

Heinz Rickal, german writer

Life is like a dream. Death is the awakening from this dream.

Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher and university lecturer

“Are you afraid of death?” asked the little prince to the rose. She replied, “Oh no. I have lived, I have bloomed, and used my strength as much as I could. And love given a thousandfold returns to the one who gave it. So I will wait for the new life and wither without fear and despondency.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer

You are no longer where you were, but you are everywhere that I am.

Victor Hugo, french writer

Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.

Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher

The leaves fall gently and cover everything, death sings its song and everything comes to rest!


She is now free, and our tears wish her happiness.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Where there is a lot of emotion, there is also a lot of suffering.

Leonardo da Vinci, Italian Renaissance man

He who lives in the memory of his loved ones is not dead, he is only distant; dead is only he who is forgotten.

Immanuel Kant, German philosopher

Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.

Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher
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Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Khalil Gibran, Lebanese-American poet and philosopher

When a friend dies, something of you dies too.

Gustave Flaubert, French writer

From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.

Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter and graphic artist

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.

Isaac Asimov, Russian-American author and biochemist

If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc.

It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other.

Francis Bacon, English philosopher and statesman

Death is not the opposite of life but an innate part of it. By living our lives, we nurture death.

Haruki Murakami, Japanese writer

That are so fortified against our story… as we often see against some storm.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, German writer and physicist

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet

The goal of all life is death.

Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis

I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.

Jimi Hendrix, American musician and guitarist
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I intend to live forever, or die trying.

Groucho Marx, American comedian and actor

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.

Norman Cousins, American author and politician

You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman philosopher and statesman

No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.

Euripides, ancient Greek tragedian poet

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. 

Mark Twain, American writer and humorist

To himself everyone is immortal; he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.

Samuel Butler, British writer and satirist

Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.

Napoleon Bonaparte, French military and politician

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

Khalil Gibran, Lebanese-American poet and philosopher

If a man has not found something worth dying for, he is not fit to live.

Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights activist and Baptist pastor

Death and taxes” is a phrase commonly referencing a famous quotation written by American statesman Benjamin Franklin: Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Benjamin Franklin, American statesman and inventor

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.

Leonardo da Vinci, italian artist and engineer

There are three kinds of people: those who worry themselves to death; those who work themselves to death; and those who are bored to death.

Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister and statesman
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We fear death, that’s why we are afraid of living. Death is not evil. Is the only certainty we have. Embrace it. Write your own obituary.

Norman Mailer, american writer and journalist

I have nothing to do with death. I am, he is not. He is, I’m not.

Epikur von Samos, greek philosopher

And lastly there is the oldest and deepest desire, the Great Escape: the Escape from Death.

J.R.R. Tolkien, britisch writer and philologist

Death is the wish of some, the relief of many, and the end of all. 

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman philosopher and statesman

Dying is not an eternal separation; there is a reunion on a brighter day.

Michael Faulhaber, German Archbishop

I do not believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear.

Woody Allen, American film director and comedian

Love overcomes death, but it happens that a little bad habit overcomes love.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Austrian writer

If I can protect you with my life or my death, I will.

J.R.R. Tolkien, British author and philologist

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher and philologist

He who steals our dreams puts us to death.

Konfuzius, Chinese philosopher

Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.

Ernest Hemingway, American writer

We are such stuff / As dreams are made on, and our little life / Is rounded with a sleep.

William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright

To a father, when a child dies, the future dies; to a child when a parent dies, the past dies.

Berthold Auerbach, german writer and poet

I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.

Mark Twain, American writer and humorist

he hourglasses remind us not only of the rapid flight of time, but simultaneously also of the dust into which we will once fall.”

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, German writer and physicist

I  believe that when death closes our eyes we shall awaken to a light, of which our sunlight is but the shadow.

Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher

It is not the length of life, but the depth of life. He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philosopher and poet

We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.

Charles Bukowski, American writer and poet

The life of the dead is placed on the memories of the living. The love you gave in life keeps people alive beyond their time.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman politician and philosopher
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Memory is the only paradise out of which we cannot be driven away.

Jean Paul, German writer

Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.

Bertolt Brecht, German playwright and lyricist

very slowly, and yet one is still surprised when it’s suddenly dark.

Franz Kafka, German-language writer

The night was so clear with stars. And my soul spread. Her wings out wide, Flew across the silent land, As though flying home. 

Joseph von Eichendorff, German poet

Death has the power to separate us from our loved ones physically, but it does not sever our emotional connections or bonds to them.

Thomas Mann, German writer and Nobel Prize winner

Tears cleanse the heart.

Fjodor Dostojewski, russian writer

The most beautiful memorial a person can have is in the hearts of their fellow human beings.

Albert Schweitzer, Franco-German physician and philosopher

In the end, what counts is what we have done and lived – and not what we have longed for.

Arthur Schnitzler, Austrian writer and playwright

In moments of loss and grief, many look for words of comfort and hope. Here are some insightful quotes that remind us that while death is an inescapable reality of life, love, memories and connection endure beyond death. The authors of these words remain unknown, yet their lines convey a profound message of support and compassion in difficult times of grief.

The most beautiful thing a person can leave behind is a smile on the face of those who think of them.

The past smiles in fond memories.

Time does not heal all wounds, it only teaches us to live with the incomprehensible.

Life ends, love does not.

Our heartfelt condolences for your loss. Our family will be with you in our thoughts and prayers.

Death can separate two people, but it cannot take away their connection.

Death opens unknown doors.

At the end of the rainbow, loving people are reunited; gone from the earth – remained in the heart.

And there are always traces of your life, thoughts, images and moments. They will remind us of you, make us happy and sad and never let us forget you.

We only let go of the hand, not the person.

Memory is a window through which I can see you whenever I want.

You are no longer where you were, but you are everywhere we are.

It’s not goodbye forever, it’s goodbye.

Grieving is remembering with love.

Life is an eternal mystery – and death remains a mystery.

Your footsteps have fallen silent, but the traces of your life remain.

I know I can’t ease your pain, but I want you to know that I am always here for you, offering a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.

Good people are like stars, they shine long after they have gone out.

Just as a leaf falls from a tree, a person leaves this world. But the birds continue to sing.


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