101+ Quotes About Grief, Loss, and Mourning to Help You Find Solace and Company

I received an email the other day from someone subscribed to our weekly newsletter. Earlier that day, I had sent our most recent article –– one about how a woman ultimately healed and transformed her life to honor her father’s legacy, a full decade after he passed somewhat unexpectedly.

The email I got said something that gets me out of bed every single morning:

“Thank you for ending this. It helps to know I’m not alone in this.”

It’s one of primary feelings those who have lost someone close have: loneliness. And yet, every single one of us either have been through something incredibly similar, or will go through it.

In fact, every single person who has ever lived and every single person who will ever be has and will experience loss –– both that of their loved ones, and then, their own.

For such a lonely place to be, grief is universal. It is part of the deal of life. There is no escaping it. There is no ignoring it. There is only assurance that it will come for you, too.

But grief isn’t a bad thing. It and it’s more active cousin, mourning, transform our brains and thus our world. We:

  • Create new connections
  • See things in a different light
  • Appreciate more of the present
  • Become, if only for a while, those kinds of people who take everything as a sign from a higher power or source.

And that is ultimately a good thing. Because life is fleeting.

Still, the loneliness persists. So for those who are in the grips of grief’s loneliness, let the following quotes about grief, about mourning, and about the experience of deep loss help you to reconnect to this essential experience.

You aren’t alone in this. You have the support and empathy of everyone who was, is, or will be.

4 Grief Quotes That Have Helped People Get Through Tough Times

Some of the follow grief quotes are said by famous folks you know. Others are just mantras by business professionals who use these words to help cope with grief and mourning.

In other words, these are the quotes and tidbits that helps folks like you through the day. These are important because while tons and tons of famous folks from William Shakespeare to Queens have well-known quotes about grief, it is those that actually help and fuel our soul that we need to read.

What better than those quotes as recommended by regular folks, who have been there, are there, and will continue to frequent the depths of loss with less loneliness and more positivity as time passes?

“To pass through this brief life as nature demands. To give it up without complaint. Like an olive that ripens and falls. Praising its mother, thanking the tree it grew on.” – Marcus Aurelius

I like stoic philosophy in general, and I like Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations in specific. Here’s a quote I like about death from Meditations that has helped me through moments of grief.

“Don’t let yourself forget how many doctors have died, after furrowing their brows over how many deathbeds. How many astrologers, after pompous forecasts about others’ ends. How many philosophers, after endless disquisitions on death and immortality. How many warriors, after inflicting thousands of casualties themselves. How many tyrants, after abusing the power of life and death atrociously, as if they were themselves immortal.

How many whole cities have met their end: Helike, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and countless others.

And all the ones you know yourself, one after another. One who laid out for another burial, and was buried himself, and then the man who buried him – all in the same short space of time.

In short, know this: Human lives are brief and trivial. Yesterday a blob of semen; tomorrow embalming fluid, ash.

To pass through this brief life as nature demands. To give it up without complaint.

Like an olive that ripens and falls.

Praising its mother, thanking the tree it grew on.”

Alex Birkett, Sr. Growth Marketing Manager, HubSpot

“I heal my past by living in the present.” – Personal Mantra

I’ve personally dealt with a lot of grief. I grew up in a town where drugs were rampant. Then, I joined the military. Then I became and entrepreneur and have lost several friends to suicide.

For me, no mantra has meant more than reminding myself that, “I heal my past by living in the present.”

– Eric Carlson, Co-Founder, 10xFactory

“To meet triumph and disaster, and to greet these two imposters the same.” – Rudyard Kipling

It took me years and years to understand the wisdom of this saying by Rudyard Kipling: “To meet Triumph and Disaster, and to greet these two imposters the same.”

It took me years to realize the wisdom of that statement — that the things you think are amazingly great aren’t really all that great and that the disasters you think are going to end everything aren’t that big a deal either. Wow.

– Jaime Turner, CEO, 60 Second Marketer

“Just this side of heaven is a place called rainbow bridge.” – Anonymous

My hardest loss in recent memory involved the untimely death of my furry best friend. The Rainbow Bridge poem helped me to refocus my perspective in terms of looking forward to seeing my fur baby in the future instead of constantly drowning in grief.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

– Maddy Osman, SEO Content Strategist, The Blogsmith

The following quotes about grief are some of the most popular on the web –– and for good reason. They bring solace. They bring hope. They reflect exactly what you are feeling.

These are the grief quotes that can help cure loneliness, or bring a different perspective to your mourning you may not have yet explored.

  • Use these at funerals.
  • Meditate on them.
  • Use them as writing prompts in your grief journaling.

Whatever you do, use them to remember the bond you had, the memories you shared, and know that even though they are gone, those experiences are not. Life was lived, and that is beautiful.

Grief Quotes About the Loss of a Child

Shel Silverstein.

“There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part. Just give me a happy middle, and a very happy start.”

Shel Silverstein was an American singer-songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter, award-winning children’s writer, and actor. He was best known for his books Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree.

His only daughter passed at age 11 of a cerebral aneurysm.

His poem Where the Sidewalk Ends is used often at funerals, and others of his grief quotes are featured in blogs across the internet. His poems and words have helped millions, and many American children grew up with his work as their bedtime stories.

Mira Ptacin.

“We have trauma, and we have grief. People die, and we find it baffling. Painful. Inexplicable. Grief is baffling. There are theories on how we react to death, how we cope, how we handle loss. Some believe the range of emotions mourners experience is predictable, that grief can be monitored, as if mourners are following a checklist. But sorrow is less of a checklist, more like water. It’s fluid, it has no set shape, never disappears, never ends. It doesn’t go away. It just changes. It changes us.”

Mira Ptacin is a writer whose work focuses on empathy, grief, and equal rights. Her book, Poor Your Soul, is about the loss of her unborn child at 28.

Washington Irving.

“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 was an American short story writer and diplomat of the early 19th century. His first two sons died in infancy, as did his fourth child. This is one of his most famous quotes.

Joann Didion.

“I know why we try to keep the dead alive: we try to keep them alive in order to keep them with us.”

Joan Didion was a famous American author who won extensive praise for her book The Year of Magical Thinking, which documented the grief she experienced following the sudden death of her husband. The book has been said to be a “masterpiece of two genres: memoir and investigative journalism.”

While on tour promotion the book, her daughter passed. She later wrote a book, Blue Nights, about that experience and its grief.

Here are a couple notable quotes on grief that can help:

  • “I could not count the times during the average day when something would come up that I needed to tell him. This impulse did not end with his death. What ended was the possibility of response.”
  • “Mourning, the act of dealing with grief, required attention. Until now there had been every urgent reason to obliterate any attention that might otherwise have been paid, banish the thought, bring fresh adrenaline to bear on the crisis of the day.”

Grief Quotes About the Loss of a Partner

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“It is not the length of the life, but the depth of the life.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American poet, essaying and philosopher who brought about the concept of transcendentalism, the belief that everything in our world—even a drop of dew—is a microcosm of the universe.

His wife’s death at age 19 from tuberculosis had a profound effect on Emerson’s life, alerting its course from clergyman to poet. His philosophy after her death was characterized by its reliance on intuition as the only way to comprehend reality.

Despite his grief, he was known as a steadfast optimist – and refused to acknowledge the existence of evil.

More great quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson include:

  • “Sorrow makes us all children again – destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing.”
  • “We acquire the strength we have overcome.”
  • “For each thorn, there’s a rosebud… For each twilight – a dawn… For each trial – the strength to carry on, For each storm cloud – a rainbow… For each shadow – the sun… For each parting – sweet memories when sorrow is done.”

Edgar Allan Poe.

“The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”

Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, editor, and literary critic. He was one of the first authors to try and make a professional living as a writer only. Poe was often surrounded by grief. His father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year.

Beyond that, the 1800s was an era of romanticized death and dying with so many passing from tuberculosis. Edgar own wife passed from the disease after five years of his care taking.

His poem Annabelle Lee is often cited:

“It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of ANNABEL LEE;

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea;

But we loved with a love that was more than love-

I and my Annabel Lee;

With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven

Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her highborn kinsman came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,

Went envying her and me-

Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,

In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud by night,

Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we-

Of many far wiser than we-

And neither the angels in heaven above,

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,

In the sepulchre there by the sea,

In her tomb by the sounding sea.”

― Edgar Allen Poe

C.S. Lewis.

“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”

C.S. Lewis is a celebrated English author of both fiction and Christian non-fiction. His mother passed as a young child, and he later grew a close relationship with Jane Moore, who he occasionally called his mother.

She was the mother of a friend in the war with whom he had made a promise that if either of them died, they would take care of the other’s family. Lewis upheld that promise after his friend’s death. His wife also passed before him.

Lewis’ life saw him through many episodes of grief, but his faith and his dedication to friends and family was a source of inspiration.

He has multiple grief quotes that are helpful, including:

  • “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
  • “The death of a beloved is an amputation.”
  • “Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery’s shadow or reflection: the fact that you don’t merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.”
  • “Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.”
  • “Grief … gives life a permanently provisional feeling. It doesn’t seem worth starting anything. I can’t settle down. I yawn, I fidget, I smoke too much. Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time, empty successiveness.”

  • “Feelings, and feelings, and feelings. Let me try thinking instead.”

Sheryl Sandberg.

“One of the most important things I’ve learned is how deeply you can keep loving someone after they die. You may not be able to hold them or talk to them, and you may even date or love someone else, but you can still love them every bit as much.”

Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook and the author of Lean In and Option B, the latter written after the sudden passing of her husband while on vacation.

Sheryl has been a leading voice and activist is encouraging more women to take leadership positions at large organizations. She has also become a leading voice for naming and addressing grief, post-traumatic growth, and more.

Her website, OptionB, is a community hub of stories from celebrities to your next door neighbor about how they handle grief, so that each of us can feel a bit less lonely in our own personal journey of grief.

She has multiple quotes as well, including these:

  • “Life is never perfect. We all live some form of Option B.”
  • “I am more vulnerable than I thought, but much stronger than I ever imagined.”
  • “Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said that life can only be understood backward but it must be lived forward.”
  • “We find our humanity—our will to live and our ability to love—in our connections to one another.”
  • “Counting our blessings doesn’t boost our confidence or our effort, but counting our contributions can.”

Megan Devine.

“Some things cannot be fixed; they can only be carried. Grief like yours, love like yours, can only be carried.”

Megan Devine is a grief advocate and communication expert best known for her 2017 book, It’s OK That You’re Not OK. She also has a grief journal launching in 2020 titled: How to Carry What Can’t Be. She is the founder of Refuge in Grief, a grief support resource and online community which serves both grieving people and those looking to better support grieving people via free online resources, paid creative courses, and professional training.

She is best known for her approach to grief support which excludes the use of platitudes. Her husband passed unexpectedly in 2009. Prior to her work in grief, she was a sexual violence awareness educator and taught writer in a day shelter for at-risk youth. She’s always been an educator, helping folks live better through all types of issues.

And, she has tons of quotes to help!

  • “There is not a reason for everything. Not every loss can be transformed into something useful. Things happen that do not have a silver lining.”
  • Here’s the thing: every loss is valid. And every loss is not the same. You can’t flatten the landscape of grief and say that everything is equal. It isn’t.”
  • “Grief is visceral, not reasonable: the howling at the center of grief is raw and real. It is love in its most wild form.”
  • “Grief is not a sign that you’re unwell or unevolved. It’s a sign that love has been part of your life, and that you want love to continue, even here.”
  • “There are losses that rearrange the world. Deaths that change the way you see everything, grief that tears everything down. Pain that transports you to an entirely different universe, even while everyone else thinks nothing has really changed.”

Anne Lamott.

“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 is an American novelist and non-fiction writer who often covers topics including alcoholism, single-motherhood, depression, and Christianity. Much of her work focuses on grief, gratitude, and forgiveness.

Other of her grief quotes include:

  • “When you are on the knife’s edge — when nobody knows exactly what is going to happen next, only that it will be worse — you take in today. So here we were, at the trailhead, for a cold day’s walk.”
  • “The trees looked congregational. As we walked beneath the looming green world, pushing out its burls and sprouts, I felt a moment’s panic at the thought of Barbara’s impending death, and maybe also my own. We are all going to die! That’s just so awful. I didn’t agree to this. How do we live in the face of this? Left foot, right foot, push the walker forward.”
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