26 Short Quotes About Losing a Coworker or Boss

Updated

Have you recently lost a coworker or boss? Perhaps someone close to you is experiencing such a loss. Here are some quotes about loss and grief that may help you (or a friend) navigate this life experience.

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We’ll provide you with comforting quotes that might be helpful if the death was unexpected (even though loss is difficult, whether expected or not). We’ll also try to inspire you with touching quotes that may be appropriate to share with others in a sympathy card or social media post. 

Comforting Quotes About an Unexpected Death of a Coworker

Most people find themselves at a loss for words when a person dies – especially if that loss was unexpected. Here are some quotes about grief and loss that may help you and others going through this difficult experience.


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1. “The road through grief is a rocky one. Traveling along it requires courage, patience, wisdom, and hope.” — Candy Lightner

Candy Lightner founded the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization after a drunk driver killed her daughter. 

2. “Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.” — Unknown

While this sounds like a message you might read on a greeting card, it reminds us that the memories of the deceased may provide us with some comfort. 

3. “He that conceals his grief finds no remedy for it.” — Turkish Proverb

You may find that your coworkers all deal with their grief in different ways. This Turkish proverb suggests that one needs to be open about their feelings to obtain healing.  

4. “Sorrow makes us all children again destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

After a death occurs in a job setting, some may look to the company leadership for guidance. However, Emerson suggests that death and sorrow put us all on the same level – no matter the job title.

5. “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak. Whispers the o’er fraught heart and bids it break.” — William Shakespeare 

These words can be found in the fourth act of Macbeth. This quote also encourages others to dialog after experiencing the death of a shared acquaintance or friend. 

6. “Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.” — Emily Dickinson

We love this thought by Emily Dickinson. It surely has comforted people for over a hundred years. 

7. “He whom the gods favour dies young.” — Plautus

Perhaps this quote was the inspiration for the Billy Joel song. 

8. “There is no way around the pain that you naturally feel when someone you love dies. You can’t go over it, under it, or around it . . . going through it is what will help you heal.” — Therese Rando

Therese Rando wrote How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies.

9. “Many people overlook or are surprised by the physical side of grief. It is very real and it bears attending.” — Alla Renee Bozarth

Alla Renee Bozarth is an Episcopal priest and writer. 

Inspirational Quotes About the Death of a Coworker

Are you trying to find the perfect words to say after the loss of a coworker or boss? You might want to share some of these quotes by great thinkers, poets, and leaders. 


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10. “The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.” — Ulysses S. Grant

Those who are there for you when something terrible happens are the relationships to cherish the most. 

11. “And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.” — Maya Angelou

Take time to read the entirety of “When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou. Her words certainly inspire. 

12. “In a world of such beauty as birds in flight, surely I can come to feel at home again, even after my loss.” — Martha Whitmore Hickman

You might want to wait a few weeks or months before you share this sentiment with others. It may take time before someone can “feel at home again.”

13. “I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep.... Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.” — May Sarton

This may be another quote that requires perfect timing to share. 

14. “It is the will of God and Nature that these mortal bodies be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real life; ’tis rather an embryo state, a preparation for living; a man is not completely born until he be dead: Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals?” — Benjamin Franklin

Are you looking for a religious quote that was written by someone in the secular world? Consider sharing this message from one of our country’s founding fathers.

15. “Grief is a journey, often perilous and without clear direction, that must be taken. The experience of grieving cannot be ordered or categorized, hurried or controlled, pushed aside or ignored indefinitely. It is inevitable as breathing, as change, as love. It may be postponed, but it will not be denied.” — Molly Fumia

Molly Fumia has written much about grief.

16. “When a person dies who does any one thing better than anyone else in the world, which so many others are trying to do well, it leaves a gap in society.” — William Hazlitt

This quote may describe the death of your coworker. 

17. “The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.” — Henry David Thoreau

This answers the question, “what do I say when a coworker dies?”

Quotes to Share in a Condolence Card After the Death of a Coworker

Not all of these quotes would be appropriate for every situation because some refer to the afterlife, which not everyone accepts. However, here are some quotes about death that you might share in some instances – either in a sympathy card, text, or social media post. 

18. “I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the wife of Charles Lindbergh. She wrote several books and won numerous prestigious awards for her work. 

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19. “I can assure you that those who have already passed have not only made it to the Other Side, but are in a state of bliss.” — Sylvia Browne

Some may refer to the afterlife as “the Other Side,” while others refer to it as “Heaven.” Sylvia Browne earned fame for her claims of being a psychic.

20. “Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow.” — Rita Schiano

The next time you shed a tear over the loss of a friend or loved one, think about their healing powers.

21. “Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway.” — Mary C. Crowley

We like this thought because it is somewhat lighthearted. Share this with someone who is struggling with a loss and believes in God. 

22. “A cut finger is numb before it bleeds; it bleeds before it hurts, it hurts until it begins to heal; it forms a scab and itches until finally, the scab is gone and a small scar is left where once there was a wound. Grief is the deepest wound you ever had. Like a cut finger, it goes through stages, and leaves a scar.” — Author Unknown 

We don’t know who penned these words, but we love this description of grief. Grief isn’t something that you “go through” without being changed. 

23. “There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.” — Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder was a famous playwright known for writing Our Town.

24. “What is there to do when people die – people so dear and rare – but bring them back by remembering?” — May Sarton

This is another quote by May Sarton. This one encourages us to share memories of the deceased to keep them alive in our hearts. 

25. “Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me . . . Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.” — Henry Scott Holland

This quote describes how many people view their own deaths. 

26. “Certain thoughts are prayers. There are certain moments when, whatever the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.” — Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo wrote both The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserable

Final Thoughts

We hope some of these thoughts by famous writers, philosophers, and poets have provided you and your coworkers with comfort during this difficult time. Consider sharing some of these quotes with others who have recently experienced a loss.

One common theme we have learned from these thoughts is the importance of sharing our emotions with others. Grief is universal, and you don’t have to be best friends with someone to be affected by their death.

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