Inspiring Quotes About the Death of a Friend

While words can never fully express how much someone means to us, language can still provide comfort, solace, hope and even inspiration following the death of a loved one. Here you will find a select collection of quotes and sayings about the grief caused by the loss of a friend.

How Quotes May Help After Losing a Friend

When you lose a good friend, you may find yourself at a loss for words. How can you really express what is in your heart? At times like this, having quotes can be very helpful. You might find these of use when writing a eulogy or condolence letter, particularly if you're having trouble finding the right words and need inspiration.

At other times, excerpts from quotes may give you words that express your heart when talking with other loved ones. For example, using the quote from John Taylor listed below, you may be able to tell a loved one who asks that you are mourning, but that you are rejoicing that you will again meet him behind the veil.

Finally, looking through quotes may help you in your private grieving, by giving words to the feelings in your heart.

How to Write a Condolence Letter

Inspirational Quotes on the Death of a Friend

Everyone is different, and a quote that proves meaningful for one, may not be for another. Therefore, we share several quotes from people who have commented on their feelings in losing a friend.

Aristophanes, Greek playwright
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.

John Taylor, American politician and senator
While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.

Edward Young, English poet
But fate ordains that dearest friends must part.

Richard Bach, American author
Can miles truly separate you from friends... If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?

Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher
The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost.

Stone Temple Pilots, American rock group
If you should die before me, ask if you can bring a friend.

German Proverb
The death of a friend is equivalent to the loss of a limb.

Author unknown
It takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, and a day to love them, but it takes an entire lifetime to forget them.

Henri J.M. Nouwen, Dutch author and Catholic priest
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

Jean Antoine Petit-Senn, French-Swiss poet
When our friends are alive, we see the good qualities they lack; dead, we remember only those they possessed.

John Gay, English poet, and dramatist
Excuse me, then! you know my heart
But dearest friends, alas! must part

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French author, and poet
On a day of burial there is no perspective—for space itself is annihilated. Your dead friend is still a fragmentary being. The day you bury him is a day of chores and crowds, of hands false or true to be shaken, of the immediate cares of mourning. The dead friend will not really die until tomorrow, when silence is 'round you again. Then he will show himself complete, as he was—to tear himself away, as he was, from the substantial you. Only then will you cry out because of him who is leaving and whom you cannot detain.

Robert Southey, English author, and poet
No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth.

Homer, Greek poet
The difficulty is not so great to die for a friend, as to find a friend worth dying for.

Steven Wright, American comedian
I had a friend who was a clown. When he died, all his friends went to the funeral in one car.

Richard Bach, American author
Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

Charles Caleb Colton, English author, and clergyman
True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost.

Henry Fielding, English author, and dramatist
Distance of time and place generally cure what they seem to aggravate; and taking leave of our friends resembles taking leave of the world, of which it has been said, that it is not death, but dying, which is terrible.

St. John Cassian, Christian monk
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.

Harold Kushner, American rabbi, and author
At some of the darkest moments in my life, some people I thought of as friends deserted me—some because they cared about me and it hurt them to see me in pain; others because I reminded them of their own vulnerability, and that was more than they could handle. But real friends overcame their discomfort and came to sit with me. If they had not words to make me feel better, they sat in silence (much better than saying, "You'll get over it," or "It's not so bad; others have it worse") and I loved them for it.

Washington Irving, American author
Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.

William Penn, English reformer and founder of Pennsylvania
Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. For they must be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass, they see face to face, and their converse is free as well as pure. This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.

Bottom Line on Quotes About the Loss of a Friend

The grief that accompanies the death of a trusted friend is hard to express in words. Often times our friends are our contemporaries, and the loss represents not only our loss of a loved one, but our own mortality. Losing someone who may be similar in age may bring rise to existential questions about death that may not seem as relevant when an older loved one dies. Allow yourself the time that it takes to grieve not only your friend, but to face the questions that his death may bring.

Grieving takes time, and there is no one best way to grieve. We've all heard of the stages of grief, but these stages aren't a linear path. Rather, you may find yourself in a different stage every day, or even every hour. Be kind to yourself and pamper yourself while you heal.

Sharing quotes in a public way, such as in a eulogy, is a way in which you can honor your friend. Reading quotes in privacy can help you as you navigate through these stages of loss, as you try to listen to what your heart is speaking.

The Four Phases and Tasks of Grief
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