21 Quotes About Losing a Loved One to Cancer

Updated

It’s tough knowing what to say when someone dies of cancer. If one of your loved ones recently lost their cancer battle, please know that we are sorry for your loss. 

Or perhaps you have a friend or acquaintance who is grieving from the death of a loved one. Maybe you are searching for the perfect quote to share with your friend during this time of pain. 

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Regardless of your reason for looking, here are some quotes about losing a loved one to cancer. We hope that these words will articulate the exact message that you need to hear or would like to share.

Quotes About Losing a Family Member to Cancer

Over 600,000 people in the United States die of cancer each year. That means more than 600,000 families each year suffer indescribable loss from this horrible disease. 

Here are some quotes about losing a family member to cancer.  

1. “God never gives strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute.” —Oswald Chambers

When faced with the death of a loved one, many people wonder how they can find the strength to go on with life. They may feel like every little action requires tremendous effort, and a lifetime of activity and decisions without a loved one may seem overwhelming.

This quote reminds believers that God only gives us the strength we need for that minute. We need to trust that the strength will also come the next day, the next month, and the rest of our years on earth.  

2. “Those we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch.” —Jack Thorne

When you are standing at the grave of a loved one, all you can think of is death. Once the funeral is over, and you are constantly reminded of the one who died, you realize that death isn’t as powerful as you may have previously thought. Our loved ones live on in our hearts, minds, and memories.

3. “When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” —Kahil Gibran

This quote is interesting because it gives us a new way to look at grief. We only mourn for those who have delighted us.

4. “When you have seen someone physically degrade to death, trivial issues don’t matter anymore.” —Ramachandra Pai

Perhaps you wouldn’t want to share this quote with someone who recently lost a loved one. Even though this quote doesn’t offer a lot of comfort, it does speak of the fundamental change many people experience when watching someone die from cancer. Perhaps you have experienced this in your own life.

5. “I love you every day, and now I will miss you every day.” —Mitch Albom

The author of Tuesdays with Morrie wrote these words. It reminds us that love doesn’t end with death. 

6. “Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” —Jamie Anderson

If you have lost someone to cancer, you are familiar with the feelings that Jamie Anderson describes. Know that what you are feeling is love, even though it is a different kind of love than what you experienced when the person was still alive.

7. “Even if you know what is coming, you’re never prepared for how it feels.” —Natalie Standiford

Those who have never experienced grief may think that it is somehow easier to face if you know that it is coming. This isn’t necessarily true.

Quotes About Losing a Friend to Cancer

Death is hard to face, whether it is the death of a family member or close friend. Here are some quotes about losing a close friend to cancer.

You may also want to read books about losing someone to cancer. It can also help to discuss your sorrow with a grief counselor or other mental health professional.

8. “It takes great strength to make your way through grief, to grab hold of life and let it pull you forward.” —Patti Davis

Sometimes people need to hear acknowledgment that grief is hard. They may have only seen the brave faces of grief before, and they may feel as if they are experiencing something different than what others have experienced.

It takes a tremendous amount of strength to grieve, and it never really goes away.

9. “Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.” —David Searls

Many people believe that death is not the end. This quote illustrates that point beautifully.

10. “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

The creator of Winnie the Pooh reminds us that our loved ones are in our hearts forever—even if we are separated by death.

11. “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.” —Isaiah 43:2

Those who believe in God can be reassured that he will be with us even during our darkest moments of life.

12. “When someone dies of cancer, we say ‘they lost their battle with cancer,’ as if between the two of them, cancer was the better, the stronger, and the smarter. But if you think about it, if I die from cancer, then cancer dies too. And if I survive cancer, cancer loses its battle with me. Cancer never wins.” —Unknown

We aren’t sure who wrote this quote about cancer, but it is a compelling message. Words are important. It’s important to choose them carefully when speaking with someone who has cancer as much as when speaking to someone losing someone to cancer. Perhaps the “battle” analogy needs to be reconsidered.

13. “One cannot get through life without pain. What we can do is to choose how to use the pain that life presents us.” —Bernie S. Siegel

Sometimes people make better use of their time on earth after they lose someone they love. When we see death up close and personal, we are reminded that life is short and that we need to use our anguish to support others who are suffering. 

14. “What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, a master calls a butterfly.” —Richard Bach

There are many beautiful quotes about death, especially for those who believe in the afterlife.

Uplifting Quotes About Losing a Loved One to Cancer

How do we survive the agony that comes with losing a loved one to cancer? We survive by living life one day at a time. Here are some quotes reminding us of this fact.

15. “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” —Thomas Campbell

It’s important to share memories about the people who have passed on before us. This keeps our loved ones in our thoughts and minds. 

In fact, sometimes people are careful not to mention the deceased, for fear of causing pain to someone in mourning. Instead, you should share happy memories of the deceased with others. 

16. “Grief is not a disorder, a disease, or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical, and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” —Earl Grollman

Stoicism is overrated. It is normal to be sad when you lose someone important to you. It is not a sign of weakness.

17. “When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” —Unknown

Treasure the memories you shared with your loved one. Show their worth by sharing them with others.

18. “When a person is born, we rejoice, and when they are married we jubilate, but when they die we try to pretend that nothing has happened.” —Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead was a cultural anthropologist. She studied all aspects of human life. This quote by Mead reminds us that we need to celebrate the life of the one we lost.

19. “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o’er-wrought heart and bids it break.” —William Shakespeare

Even William Shakespeare spoke about the importance of expressing grief. This quote comes from Macbeth. 

20. “There is no grief like the grief that does not speak.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It may take time before you can speak about your loss. Your grief may be all-encompassing for days, weeks, or months. Slowly, you may find yourself being able to talk about the person you lost. 

21. “The only people who think there’s a time limit for grief, have never lost a piece of their heart. Take all the time that you need.” —Unknown

Your grief may ebb and flow for years. 

Words Are Important

As you suffer through your loss (or you help someone else who is grieving), it is important to surround yourself with words of comfort. We hope that some of these quotes bring peace to you as you enter this new phase of your life. 

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