Grief is a completely natural human response to loss.
As overwhelmingly difficult as it is to bear, it’s incredibly important.
Grief feels absurd, but it’s how we process loss, and without allowing ourselves space to grieve, we do ourselves a great disservice.
In the article below, you’ll find:
- Quotes about grief
- Celebration of life quotes
- Gone too soon; rest in peace quotes
- Understanding grief
- Tips for dealing with grief
If you’ve recently lost a loved one or it’s been some time, but you’re still struggling, we hope this article will help. There is no answer to your grief here, nor will there be a satisfactory answer anywhere else.
This is your journey, and the only person who can get through it for you is you.
While the quotes and sentiments about grief included below won’t fix things for you, they may help broaden your perspective about grief and how you might get through it.
20 quotes about grief
Below we’ve included a list of 20 quotes about grief and loss.
Grief can be an incredibly lonely and isolating experience, so it’s important to remind yourself that others experience it too, that you’re not alone, and that people can and do recover from the darkest depths of grief.
“God gave us a memory so that we might have roses in December.”J.M. Barrie
“Should you shield the valleys from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their canyons.”Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
“I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”J.R.R. Tolkien
“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 the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly – that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”Anne Lamott
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”C.S. Lewis
“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
“There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.”Aeschylus
“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
“Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.”Alphonse de Lamartine
“It wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it.”Dean Koontz
“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”William Shakespeare
“Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.”Elizabeth Gilbert
“The darker the night, the brighter the stars, the deeper the grief, the closer is God!”Fyodor Dostoevsky
“There is no grief like the grief that does not speak.”Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.”J.K. Rowling
“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you’ll 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
“When all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.”E.A. Bucchianeri
“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”John Steinbeck
“What happens is, when the grief runs its natural course… you come to the point where you realize that you’ve tasted something with that person that was such a living moment that that moment still exists independent of death. There’s a moment when we recognize that love transcends death. And that has to happen experientially, and it has to happen when grief runs its natural course.”Ram Dass
“We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world–the company of those who have known suffering.”Helen Keller
Celebration of life quotes
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” – Thomas Campbell
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Havelock Ellis
“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller
“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 those depths.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
“Grief can be the 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
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that remains.” – Anne Frank
“A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.” – Maya Angelou
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments but what is woven into the lives of others.” – Thucydides
“Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” – José N. Harris
“Say not in grief that he is no more but live in thankfulness that he was.” – Hebrew Proverb
“Those we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch.” – Jack Thorne
“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.” – James O’ Barr
“I’ve told my children that when I die, to release balloons in the sky to celebrate that I graduated. For me, death is a graduation.” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Gone too soon; rest in peace quotes
It can be hard to know what to say when someone dies. Death isn’t always sudden – sometimes a friend or family member experiences a peaceful and slow fading away, and though it’s still sad, sometimes everything has already been said.
Below we’ve included some sentiments to express around the family or tell a friend who has lost a loved one.
- They’re gone too soon. May they rest in peace.
- I’m heartbroken you left so unexpectedly. May you rest in peace and live on in our hearts.
- I wasn’t ready for you to leave. I would never have been ready anyway.
- You are missed every day.
- Our hearts are missing a piece without you.
- You were and always will be loved. Rest in peace, angel.
Grief is one of the most complicated emotions we can experience. It’s a completely natural response to death and loss, but despite that, it can be incredibly overwhelming.
If you’ve ever lost someone close to you, you know just how heavy grief can feel. If you’ve never lost someone close to you, it’s almost impossible to imagine.
We all grieve at our own pace. There is no one ‘right’ way to do it. One’s grieving process is as unique as their relationship with the deceased.
It is expected to understand that grief comes in five stages, as outlined in Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ On Death and Dying. However, as Kubler herself has pointed out, much of her research for the book was based on the experience of dying individuals, not the family or friends they left behind.
Later she wrote On Grief and Grieving with David Kessler for the latter audience.
Of course, there are obvious stages of grief that align with the classic five – anger, denial, and bargaining are familiar feelings to experience after a loved one’s death. Still, there is no formula for dealing with grief, and it’s not as though one needs to pass through the five stages not to feel anymore.
“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 we lost.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.
The stages, as Kubler explains, are a framework. There is no chronological progression or timestamp when it comes to experiencing these grief-related feelings.
Tips for dealing with grief
As overwhelming as grief is, your mental and emotional health needs to process it. Suppressed grief has a toxic effect on your overall health and has been known to lead to depression.
Without taking time to process and heal your emotions, that grief-based depression may lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms. When those you love are also struggling with loss, it’s wise to try to stay healthy.
Below we’ve included some basic but important tips for dealing with the grief in your life.
1. Allow yourself
Allow yourself to feel what you feel.
Pay attention to your feelings and name them. Identify what’s going on in your body and mind when you feel a certain way.
Shining a light on our feelings can be exhausting, but it’s healthier than suppressing or denying them. The more you pay attention to and learn about your feelings, the easier it will be to communicate and share your experience with others.
2. Prioritize self-care
If you were close to the deceased, you might have some responsibilities to take care of now that they have passed.
Still, take some time for yourself. Identify your needs right now and do what you can to meet them.
Going through loss is never easy, so we don’t need to make it even harder by neglecting ourselves.
3. Let people know what you need
Those close to you will naturally want to help when you’re grieving.
To give yourself the best chance of healing, let those who love you know what you need to feel ok. Of course, they can do nothing to bring your loved one back, but even small acts of kindness and care can make a big difference when you’re grieving.
If you need alone time, let people know. If you need company, let them know.
Be specific and direct about your needs. Perhaps not everyone will meet them all the time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask.
“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
The grieving process is unique to each of us. There is no right or wrong way to do it.
If you don’t cry when others are crying, or you don’t feel like sharing memories around the table when others are nostalgic, that’s fine. This is your life and your experience.
If you solace in opening up to other people about what you’re going through, that’s fine too. Others find it cathartic to help those who are also grieving.
Hopefully, the quotes about grief and loss will help you understand that no matter what your process looks like, grief is something we all experience, and as hard as it is, we do get through it.