Words of Inspiration for Grief, Loss, and Mourning

20 Quotations for Eulogies or Contemplation

Grieving woman wearing veil
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While words can never fully express how much someone means to you, language can still provide comfort, solace, hope, and even inspiration following the death of a loved one. Here, you will find a collection of insightful quotes about grief and loss to help you and others through difficult times.

Quotations on Grief and Loss

You may find these quotations helpful when writing a eulogy or condolence letter, particularly if you have trouble finding the right words. They can also provide solace and clarity when you are journaling, meditating, or contemplating the grief you are feeling.

From the Bible (Matthew 5:4)

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American author and poet

"Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation."

Arthur Golden, American author

"Grief is a most peculiar thing; we're so helpless in the face of it. It's like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less, and one day we wonder what has become of it."

John Irving, American author

"When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone.

"Just when the day comes—when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part."

Helen Keller, American author and deaf activist

"We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world—the company of those who have known suffering."

C.S. Lewis, Irish author and poet

"I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process."

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American aviator

"Parting is inevitably painful, even for a short time. It's like an amputation. I feel a limb is being torn off, without which I shall be unable to function. And yet, once it is done. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid and fuller than before."

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, Swiss-American psychiatrist

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 Kübler-Ross (1926-2004) was a pioneer in near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book "On Death and Dying," where she discussed her theory of the five stages of grief, also known as the Kübler-Ross model.

Edna St. Vincent Millay, American playwright

"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell."

William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania

"For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity."

Abraham Lincoln, U.S. president

"In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You cannot now realize that you will ever feel better.

"And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say, and you need only to believe it to feel better at once."

Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and author

"Though lovers be lost, love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion."

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) is perhaps best known for his poem "Do not go gentle into that good night," written in 1951.

John Steinbeck, American author

"It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone."

Clover Stroud, British journalist

"Grief, I now understand, is a sort of madness, in the same way that falling in love is madness."

William Shakespeare, English playwright

"To weep is to make less the depth of grief."

Nicholas Sparks, American author

"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."

Patrick Swayze, American actor

"When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you're going to take whatever lesson that person or animal was trying to teach you, and you make it true in your own life. It's a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world by keeping it alive in yourself."

Patrick Swayze (1952-2009) died pancreatic cancer at the age of 57 after a public, 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer

From Tao Te Ching (Chinese book of philosophy)

"To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go."

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, British poet

"I sometimes hold it half a sin;
To put in words the grief I feel.
For words, like nature, half reveal;
And half conceal the soul within."

Leo Tolstoy, Russian author

"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."

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