25+ Quotes to Help You Get Through a Death of a Friend


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Enduring the death of a friend is painful. You may have known them since childhood or attended their wedding. You may have seen them through major life milestones, and vice versa. A friend dying is like losing a family member.

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Coping with the death of a close friend, especially if it was sudden, is a challenge. How can you cope with overwhelming grief? Sometimes, venting to others or expressing emotions is cathartic. Sometimes, our emotions are too overwhelming to put into words straight away. Fortunately, many writers have put down their feelings after a friend died. Sometimes, it’s easier to let someone else speak for you. 

The quotes below are both inspirational and sad. Have a look through and perhaps you’ll find one that captures your emotions during this intense time. Feel free to use these quotes in a eulogy for your friend, reflect on them by yourself, or share them with others.

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Inspirational Quotes About the Death of a Friend

Quote about the death of a friend with image of two friends walking in a field

Grief can block out any positive emotions. When you’re mourning a friend, take time to remember all the great memories you have with them.

1. “On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend's life also, in our own, to the world.” —Henry David Thoreau, Author 

Carrying on your friend’s legacy is a dutiful task. Trying to live a lesson they taught through their way of life is a way to honor them.

2. “While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.” —John Taylor, President of the Church of Latter-Day Saints 

Grief has a way of inducing tunnel vision. Taylor reminds us that if you believe in an afterlife, others want to meet your friend there.

3. “Your lost friends are not dead, but gone before, / Advanced a stage or two upon that road / Which you must travel in the steps they trod.” —Aristophanes, Philosopher

Losing a friend often makes people feel lonely and deserted. Aristophanes reminds us that they’re only a few steps ahead along the road we all walk.

4. “The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one.” —Seneca, Philosopher

The memories of your friend will never fade away.

5. “You cannot stop loving your friend because he's dead, especially if he was better than anyone alive, you know?” —J.D. Salinger, Author

Love transcends all boundaries. It allows people to continue loving after death, even if they can’t see their friends anymore. 

Sad Quotes About the Death of a Friend

Losing a friend is something many people experience. Knowing your feelings are universal doesn’t make it easier, though.

6. “The loss of a friend is like that of a limb; time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss cannot be repaired.” —Robert Southey, Poet

Sometimes, it feels like you’ll never get over the grief. It can feel all-encompassing. Southey admits that you’ll get over the pain, but never the loss.

7. “Tell your friend that in his death, a part of you dies and goes with him. Wherever he goes, you also go. He will not be alone.” —Jiddu Krishnamurti, Philosopher

Jiddu’s take on grief allows you to believe that you will never separate from your friend. No matter where they go after death, part of you will be there with him.

8. “Even the best of friends cannot attend each other's funeral.” —Kehlog Albran, Author

No matter how close you and your friend were, death separates you both.

9. “He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Author and Pilot

Sometimes, memories can be more powerful motivators than current experiences. Living in a way that would honor your friend’s memory is motivating.

10. “What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” —Helen Keller, Teacher and activist

Keller states that loss is impossible because love makes people a permanent part of you. If this is true, you’ll never lose your friends. 

Quotes About the Death of a Childhood Friend

Quote about the death of a friend with image of two friends walking

Childhood friends have an inseparable bond because of the memories you have together. From getting braces to starting college, their impact is incalculable.

11. “The bond between friends cannot be broken by chance; no interval of time or space can destroy it. Not even death itself can part true friends.” —John Cassian, Theologian

Friendship and love are the only things more powerful than death. Even if you don’t see your friend again, your bond still matters.

12. “The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” —Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Psychiatrist

The psychological ramifications of grief get complicated. The idea that grief changes you forever is scary but understandable.

13. "Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day... unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed, and very dear." —Unknown

Feeling abandoned by deceased friends is natural. The idea that they are near to you is a comforting one.

14. “In the garden of memory, in the palace of dreams... that is where you and I shall meet.” —Lewis Carrol, Author

Sometimes, memories and dreams are all you have left. They still provide a meaningful space to emotionally reconnect with your friend.

15. "If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." —A.A. Milne, Author

True friends will never leave you. This is because you carry on their legacy and memories in your heart. 

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Quotes About the Sudden Death of a Friend

Sudden death is devastating. There’s no chance to say goodbye, no chance to prepare yourself. One day your friend is healthy and happy, and the next day they’re gone. Dealing with the whiplash of grief is challenging.

16. “The darker the night, the brighter the stars, The deeper the grief, the closer is God!” —Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Author

If you’re religious, the idea that God is close to you in these moments is comforting.

17. “Without you in my arms, I feel an emptiness in my soul. I find myself searching the crowds for your face—I know it's an impossibility, but I cannot help myself.” —Nicholas Sparks, Author

Searching crowds for someone’s face, even if you know they aren’t there, is an expression of pure grief. Loneliness sometimes doesn’t follow along with logic.

18. “I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that remains.” —Anne Frank, Author

Misery can swallow up all the good things in your life. Friends and family members that you have left and happy memories can be erased by grief. Frank insists that we focus on the beauty leftover as a survival mechanism.

19. "We need to grieve the ones we have loved and lost in this lifetime—not to sustain our connection to suffering, but to sustain our connection to love.” —Unknown

Closing yourself off from grief feels like a necessary survival mechanism. This quote warns that that approach cuts you off from love, too.

20. “Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” –Vicki Harrison, Author

You can’t control how you feel. All you can do is learn how to react to your feelings. 

Quotes About the Death of a Best Friend

Quote about the death of a friend with an image in the background of candles

Losing friends that you would go see movies or take a trip with is devastating. Losing someone closer to you than anyone else in the world is unimaginable.

21. "There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains." — Unknown

Maybe your best friend was one of these people. Even though they are gone now, their impact remains.

22. "Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone." —Unknown

Was your best friend kind? Honest? Brave? The best way to honor their legacy is to emulate these traits in your own life.

23. "My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love." —Unknown

It’s easy to wish for nothing more than the pain to stop. This quote testifies that the depth of your grief shows how much love you experienced. 

24."Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time. It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other." —Leo Buscaglia, Professor

Death has a way of making itself immediate. We don’t have all the time in the world to tell people how much we love them.

25. "Grief is the price we pay for love." —Queen Elizabeth II, Monarch

Loving someone means you’ll grieve them at some point. That doesn’t mean love isn’t worth it. 

» MORE: Your family has 500 hours of work to do after you die. Learn how to make it easier.

Coping With Grief 

Dealing with the death of a friend feels impossible. Allowing yourself to feel every emotion is crucial to healing. Whether you write poetry, go through mementos, or read sympathetic quotes, try to work through it gently. Remember that your friend would be proud to see you healing in their memory.

Post-loss tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, handling the emotional and technical aspects of their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.

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