50+ Sad or Moving Quotes About Grief & Loss

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Loss and grief can change your entire life and perspective. Suddenly, you’re on a journey through painful emotions and you might be looking for a little comfort. 

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You might also be hunting for quotes to put in a card because you’re trying to console someone. No matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got quotes for all your needs. 

Inspirational Quotes About Overcoming Grief

A little inspiration might be just what you need to start a healing journey. 

1. "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

Keeping someone in your heart is the best way to pay homage to his or her memory. 

2. "This is not goodbye, my darling, this is a thank you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy." — Nicholas Sparks, Author

Saying goodbye is hard, but being grateful for that person’s presence in your life is easier. 

3. “You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through.” — Anne Lamott, Author

It’s easy to ask, “Will I ever be the same again?” Lamott gently suggests you shouldn’t be afraid of the answer. 

4. “I miss her all the time. I know in my head that she has gone. The only difference is that I am getting used to the pain. It's like discovering a great hole in the ground. To begin with, you forget it's there and keep falling in. After a while, it's still there, but you learn to walk around it.” ― Rachel Joyce, Author

Learning to deal with grief is a slow process, and as Joyce says, you learn to “walk around” it. 

5. "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." — A.A. Milne, Author

Loving someone so much that you miss them is a great gift. 

6. The darker the night, the brighter the stars, the deeper the grief, the closer is God!” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Author

If you’re religious, grief can pull you closer to God. 

7. "Grief is the price we pay for love." — Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms

Loving someone often ends in grief, but it’s always worth it — it’s a great “gone, but not forgotten” quote.

8. "Grief can be a garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”  — Rumi, Poet

Grief can help you feel compassion toward yourself and others. 

9. “Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.”  ― Haruki Murakami, Author

Loss is part of life, even if it hurts so much.

10. I will never stop grieving her because I will never stop loving her. That's just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other.” ― Jandy Nelson, Author

Grief might never end, even if it slowly hurts less. 

» MORE: Honor your loved one's memory by taking the right next steps. Here is your free post-loss checklist.

 

Sorrowful Quotes About Grief

Taking time to sit with your grief is important, even if it’s painful. 

11. “Everyone can master a grief but he that has it.”  — William Shakespeare, Playwright

Everyone has advice on grief — what you should do, how you should act, even if they personally haven’t been through it. 

12. ”To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” — J.K. Rowling, Author

Your loved ones will be with you in some measure, forever. 

13. ”I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” — J.R.R. Tolkien, Author

Many people might applaud you for “holding up well.” But you don’t have to!

14. ”Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” — Megan Devine, Author and Psychotherapist

Carrying something with you takes immense strength. 

15. “It is at 4am. / Your perfume is on / Everything, on me / On all the world — you / Are all around, you / Are all of my tattered / Senses and no poetry, / No song, no writing, / Nothing in the world, / Will make this better.” — David Jones, Poet

This poem is about taking the time to feel that it will never get better — and remember, it’s okay to think that, even if the pain will lessen in time. 

16. “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” — Washington Irving, Author

Tears are a natural part of grief and embracing them helps healing. 

17. “There are no happy endings. / Endings are the saddest part, / So just give me a happy middle / And a very happy start.” — Shel Silverstein, Poet

Shel Silverstein was a children’s poet whose popular poems touched on some serious — and funny! — topics.

18. “My life closed twice before its close; / It yet remains to see / If Immortality unveils / A third event to me, / So huge, so hopeless to conceive, / As these that twice befell. / Parting is all we know of heaven, / And all we need of hell.” — Emily Dickinson, Poet

Parting is so difficult that it can feel like dying twice. 

19. “Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.” — Alphonse de Lamartine, Writer

You might love many people, but without one, the world can feel very lonely. 

20. ”Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” — Leo Tolstoy, Author

Your grief is often a testament to your love.

Religious Quotes About Grief

Taking comfort in your faith might help you through hard times. 

21. "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." — Matthew 5:4. 

Knowing that your faith comforts you is a great foundation. 

23. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” — Buddha

Thinking of the past and future might be painful, but focusing on the present keeps you going. 

24. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” — Revelation 21:4

If you’re a Christian, you can look forward to a beautiful heaven. 

25. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” — John 11:25-26

Believing in resurrection is comforting for people who want to see their loved ones again. 

26. “All beings are unmanifest, or invisible to our physical eyes, before birth and after death. They manifest between birth and death only. What is there to grieve about?” — Bhagavad Gita

This text insists that death, like life, is perfectly natural. 

27. “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear” — Psalm 10:17 

Knowing that God hears you while you’re grieving provides powerful comfort to many people. 

28. As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us; as we remember them.” — Unknown, from Judaism

People live on in your heart and in your mind long after their death.

29. “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” — Psalm 94:19

Faith helps many people weather tough times. 

30. “The impermanence of this floating world I feel over and over. It is hardest to be the one left behind.” — Ōtagaki Rengetsu

Even though the world is impermanent, it’s still lonely to feel left behind.

Funny Quotes About Grief

Taking the time to laugh is sometimes just what you need. 

31. It is foolish to tear one's hair in grief, as though sorrow would be made less by baldness. — Marcus Tullius Cicero, Philosopher 

Tearing one’s hair, an ancient custom, is something Cicero advises against!

32. “If a man is gloomy, let him keep to himself. No one has the right to go croaking about society, or what is worse, looking as if he stifled grief.” — Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister

Grief brings down everyone’s mood? It could be true! 

33. “Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.” — Somerset Maugham, Playwright

We might all follow Maugham’s advice if we could. 

34. “According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two! Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” — Jerry Seinfeld, Comedian

Food for thought, right? Leave it to Seinfeld.

35. “Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” — George Bernard Shaw, Playwright

Life is both funny and sad! Can you think of some other descriptions?

36. “I'm always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I'm listening to it.” — George Carlin, Comedian

At least you’re not in the casket! 

37. “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” — Winston Churchill, Politician

Churchill’s tongue-in-cheek humor was memorable.

38. “Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes.” — Benjamin Franklin, polymath and Founding Father of the U.S.

This is one of Franklin’s most famous quotes. 

39. “The living are just the dead on holiday.” — Maurice Maeterlinck, Playwright

There’s not much difference between the dead and the living after all. 

40. “Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.” — Isaac Asimov, Author

It’s only the dying part that’s difficult.

Quotes About Stages of Grief

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was the first to talk about the stages of grief in her book, “On Death and Dying.” All these quotes are from her formative book on the subject.

41. “Any natural, normal human being, when faced with any kind of loss, will go from shock all the way through acceptance.” — Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Feeling so many conflicting things is natural. 

42. “Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle.” — Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

You might want to avoid denial. But accepting it will help you heal. 

43. “There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.” — Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Finding peace is in your heart, not by leaving. 

44. “I think modern medicine has become like a prophet offering a life free of pain. It is nonsense. The only thing I know that truly heals people is unconditional love.” — Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Ironically, love is the only thing that can heal you and hurt you so much. 

45. “To grow is the sole purpose of existence on this planet Earth. You will not grow if you sit in a beautiful flower garden, but you will grow if you are sick, if you are in pain, if you experience losses, and if you do not put your head in the sand, but take the pain as a gift to you with a very, very specific purpose.” — Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Growing through grief is a challenge that’s worthwhile. 

46. “Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose, there are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” — Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Reconnecting with yourself is an important part of grief. 

47. “Those who learned to know death, rather than to fear and fight it, become our teachers about life.” — Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Knowing death, rather than fearing it, is brave.

48. “The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours.” — Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Taking care of yourself, not managing other people’s perceptions, is crucial. 

49. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” — Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Becoming a beautiful person isn’t easy. 

50.“The five stages — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance — are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one(s) we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.”  — Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

They’re tools, not hard guidelines. 

Comforting Others

If you’re helping someone start end-of-life planning, finding great quotes might be useful. You can include them in plans for funeral handouts, sympathy cards, and more. 


Sources

  1. Academia. “Treasures of Wisdom: Most Sensational Quotes of All Time.” n.d., www.academia.edu/21782179/Treasure_of_Wisdom_The_Most_Sensational_Quotes_of_all_Time
  2. Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth. “Quotes.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation. n.d., www.ekrfoundation.org/elisabeth-kubler-ross/quotes/

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