185 Grief Quotes Celebrating The Life of Someone Who Passed Away

This collection of grief quotes will heal your heart while strengthening you.

Despite being a universal part of our human experience, death, especially that of someone we love, can leave us feeling devastated.

Anyone faced with great loss feels as if a part of them has been torn away.

After someone passes away, those left behind are tasked with carrying on their lives.

But for us to go on with our lives, we need to let go of those we love who are no longer with us.

Grief is that process that helps us gradually accept the loss and allow the dead to be gone from our lives but always remembered.

Because although a loved one may be gone, you can keep their memory and legacy alive by celebrating their life.

You can honor the life and memory of the deceased in many different ways, including keeping something of theirs with you, supporting a cause close to their heart, making a tribute donation to a nonprofit, dedicating an event to their memory, sharing their stories and photos, and living your best life.

To help commemorate and remember the deceased, below is our collection of inspirational and uplifting grief quotes, grief sayings, and grief proverbs, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Grief quotes celebrating the life of someone who passed away

1.  “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” — C.S. Lewis

Grief Quotes About Grief

2. “We need to grieve the ones we have loved and lost in this lifetime — not to sustain our connection to suffering, but to sustain our connection to love.” – J. W.

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

4. “Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” – Vicki Harrison

5. “What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller

6. “They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.” — WILLIAM PENN

Grief Quotes About Death

7. “Never. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms.” – Paulo Coelho

8. “Grief is so human, and it hits everyone at one point or another, at least, in their lives. If you love, you will grieve, and that’s just given.” – Kay Redfield Jamison

9. “While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.” – Samuel Johnson

10. “When the heart grieves over what it has lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has left.” – Sufi Epigram

Grief Quotes About Loss

Grief quotes to bring healing and peace

11. “Loss is nothing else but change, and change is nature’s delight.” – Marcus Aurelius

Grief Quotes About Loss and Change

12. “If I can see pain in your eyes then share with me your tears. If I can see joy in your eyes then share with me your smile.” – Santosh Kalwar

13. “Grief is the price we pay for love.” – Queen Elizabeth II

Grief Quotes About Love

14. “The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief – But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.” – Hilary Stanton Zunin

15. “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa

16. “Grief is just love with no place to go.” — Jamie Anderson

Powerful Grief Quotes

17. “I should know enough about loss to realize that you never really stop missing someone-you just learn to live around the huge gaping hole of their absence.” – Alyson Noel

18. “Wishing you strength for today and hope for tomorrow.” – Renee O’Neill

19. “As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Grief Quotes About Death

20. “To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” — J.K. Rowling

Grief quotes to help heal your heart and strengthen you

21. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” — Winnie the Pooh

22. “Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” – Megan Devine

Grief Quotes About Fixing Life

23. “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

24. “Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” – Rumi

Grief Quotes About Grieving

25. “Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” – José N. Harris

Grief Quotes About Tears

26. “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

27. “Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time. It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.” – Leo Buscaglia

28. “Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, how it holds you in place.” – Sarah Dessen

Grief Quotes About Weight of grief

29. Although it’s natural to forget your power after you lose a loved one, the truth is that after a breakup, divorce, or death, there remains an ability within you to create a new reality.” – Louise Hay and David Kessler

30. “Sorrow is so easy to express and yet so hard to tell.” – Joni Mitchell

Grief quotes to help commemorate and remember the deceased

31. “Grant but memory to us, and we lose nothing by death.” – John G. Whittier

Grief Quotes About Death

32. “There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.” – Aeschylus

Grief Quotes About Pain

33. “No matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.” – Faraaz Kazi

34. “Grief reunites you with what you’ve lost. It’s a merging; you go with the loved thing or person that’s going away. You follow it a far as you can go. But finally,the grief goes away and you phase back into the world. Without him.” – Philip K. Dick

35. “Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.” – C.S. Lewis

36. “Acceptance is not about liking a situation. It is about acknowledging all that has been lost and learning to live with that loss.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler

37. “Love and grief come as a package deal. If you love, you will one day know sorrow.” – David Kessler

38. “It is not the length of the life, but the depth of the life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Grief Quotes About Life

39. “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller

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40. “The only way to end grief was to go through it.” – Holly Black

Grief Quotes About Going Through Grief

Grief quotes on coping and life after loss

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

Grief Quotes About Grief and Love

42. “Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.” – Anne Roiphe

43. “I learned that, with grief, you have to take it one day at a time and learn how to find the happiness amid the heartbreak.” – Adrienne C. Moore

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

45. “Excess of grief for the dead is madness; for it is an injury to the living, and the dead know it not.” – Xenophon

46. “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.” – Kahlil Gibran

47. Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.” – Marcel Proust

48. “Grief starts to become indulgent, and it doesn’t serve anyone, and it’s painful. But if you transform it into remembrance, then you’re magnifying the person you lost and also giving something of that person to other people, so they can experience something of that person.” – Patti Smith

49. “Against eternal injustice, man must assert justice, and to protest against the universe of grief, he must create happiness.” – Albert Camus

50. “Loss can remind us that life itself is a gift.” – Louise Hay and David Kessler

Grief quotes to strengthen you

51. “When you lose your parents, the sadness doesn’t go away. It just changes. It hits you sideways sometimes instead of head-on. Like now.”― Jude Watson

52. “Simply touching a difficult memory with some slight willingness to heal begins to soften the holding and tension around it.”― Stephen Levine

53. “Grief lasts longer than sympathy, which is one of the tragedies of the grieving.”― Elizabeth McCracken

54. “Grief, no matter how you try to cater to its wail, has a way of fading away.”― V.C. Andrews

55. “What they never tell you about grief is that missing someone is the simple part.”― Gail Caldwell

56. “Ten years, she’s dead, and I still find myself some mornings reaching for the phone to call her. She could no more be gone than gravity or the moon.”― Mary Karr

57. “Grief, she reminded herself, is almost always for the mourner’s loss.”― Orson Scott Card

58. “Grief wraps around people, takes them to a place they would not go otherwise.”― Patti Callahan Henry

59. “Grief is the pain of wanting things to be as they were once, yet knowing that they never will be again.” – Julie Yarbrough

60. “So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri

61. “For as long as the world spins and the earth is green with new wood, she will lie in this box and not in my arms.”― Lurlene McDaniel

62. “There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” – Mahatma Gandhi

63. “Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver.”― Sophocles

64. “The closest bonds we will ever know are bonds of grief. The deepest community one of sorrow.”― Cormac McCarthy

65. “When I saw your strand of hair I knew that grief is love turned into an eternal missing.”― Rosamund Lupton

Grief quotes to help cope with lose of a loved one

66. “People in grief need someone to walk with them without judging them.” – Gail Sheehy

67. “Never let the salt of your tears be tasteless in grief.”― Munia Khan

68. “Everybody has their burdens, their grief that they carry with them.” – Elizabeth Edwards

69. “Never compare your grief.
You – and only you
walk your path.”― Nathalie Himmelrich

70. “Grief releases love and it also instills a profound sense of connection.” – Jacqueline Novogratz

71. “There’s always a last time. If you could remember every last time, you’d never stop grieving.”― Jonathan Tropper

72. “Your grief path is yours alone, and no one else can walk it, and no one else can understand it.” – Terri Irwin

73. “We may find great relief and inexplicable solace in purposefully looking beyond grief in order to determine the provision made within it.”― Craig D. Lounsbrough

74. “Acknowledgment of grief – well, it makes feeling the grief easier, not harder.” – Elizabeth McCracken

75. “Grief is like a wildflower, it can erupt from the ground anywhere it chooses, when it blossoms we must be careful not to step on it. Instead, we need to honor its existence and appreciate that love made it bloom.” – ZOË CLARK-COATES

Grief quotes to make you strong

76. “I don’t move away from grief, rather through it.” – Taya Kyle

77. “Grief loves the hollow; all it wants is to hear its own echo.”― Hisham Matar

78. “Grief is bizarre territory because there’s no predicting how long it’ll take to get over certain things. You just don’t know how long it’s going to resound in your life.” – Sam Shepard

79. “People come and go from our lives all the time. It’s not our fault that people leave. The Universe is just making room for new people with new lessons.”― Sue Fitzmaurice

80. “When grief is deepest, words are fewest.” – Ann Voskamp

81. “My mind couldn’t fit itself around the shape of his absence.”― Lia Mills

82. “You don’t go around grieving all the time, but the grief is still there and always will be.” – Nigella Lawson

83. “Loss is painful. It crushes hearts, steals dreams, and destroys relationships. Grief can be terribly lonely. Those who are grieving need us. They need you.” – Gary Roe

84. “The only cure for grief is action.” – George Henry Lewes

85. “Even when it seems that there is no one else, always remember there’s one person who never ceased to love you – yourself.”― Sanhita Baruah

Grief quotes to condole with

86. “I wish I had done everything on earth with you.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

87. “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” — Winnie the Pooh

88. “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

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89. “To weep is to make less the depth of grief.” — William Shakespeare

90. “Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.”― Haruki Murakami

91. “Life is full of grief, to exactly the degree we allow ourselves to love other people.” — Orson Scott Card

92. “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.”― Nicholas Sparks

93. “Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.” — Alphonse de Lamartine

94. “Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”― John Green

95. “A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.” — Maya Angelou

Grief quotes to help deal with loss and pain

96. “They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite.” – Cassandra Clare

97. “Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.” – Veronica Roth

98. “Come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream.” ― Euripides

99. “Grief is depression in proportion to circumstance; depression is grief out of proportion to circumstance.” – Andrew Solomon

100. “Love is an engraved invitation to grief.” – Sunshine O’Donnell

101. “Envy, after all, comes from wanting something that isn’t yours. But grief comes from losing something you’ve already had.” – Jodi Picoult

102. “Grieving doesn’t make you imperfect. It makes you human.” – Sarah Dessen

103. “Grief is an amputation, but hope is incurable haemophilia: you bleed and bleed and bleed.” – David Mitchell

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

105. “It’s not life situations but our thoughts are the pilots of grief.” – Durgesh Satpathy

Other grief quotes and sayings

106. “Every life is noted and is cherished, and nothing loved is ever lost or perished.”—MADELEINE L’ENGLE

107. “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

108. “Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories.”—RONALD REAGAN

109. “In our grief process, we are moving into life from death, without denying the devastation that came before.”- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

110. “It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” — John Steinbeck

111.  “The darker the night, the brighter the stars, the deeper the grief, the closer is God!” — Fyodor Dostoevsky

112. “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

113. “Grief is a curious thing, when it happens unexpectedly. It is a band-aid being ripped away, taking the top layer off a family. And the underbelly of a household is never pretty, ours no exception.” ― Jodi Picoult

114. “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…” – Arthur Golden

115.  “You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.” — J.K. Rowling

Grief quotes about acceptance

116. “You are gone, but thank you for all these soft, sweet things you left behind. In my home, in my head, in my heart.” —NIKITA GILL

117. “And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone.” – Madeline Miller

118. “It’s possible to go on, no matter how impossible it seems, and that in time, the grief . . . lessens. It may not go away completely, but after a while it’s not so overwhelming.” – Nicholas Sparks

119. “Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.” – Swami Sivananda

120. Only a moment you stayed but what an imprint your footprints have left on our hearts.”—DOROTHY FERGUSON

121. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

122. “The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done were less real and important than they had been hours before.” – John Green

123. “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving

124. “I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” – Robert Fulghum

125. “There are some griefs so loud they could bring down the sky and there are griefs so still none knows how deep they lie.” – May Sarton

Grief Quotes To Help You Come To Terms With Loss Of A Friend

126. “To lose a friend is the greatest of all loses” – Syrus

127. “We can’t feel the loss of a friend until they are apart from us” – Debolina

128. “A friend who dies, it’s something of you who dies” – Gustave Flaubert

129. “Death ends a life, not a relationship” – Jack Lemmon

130. “Life without a friend is like death without a witness” – John Ray

131. “Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity” – Terri Guillemets

132. “The loss of a friend is like that of a limb; time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss cannot be repaired” – Robert Southey

133. “I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that remains” – Anne Frank

134. “Every deceased friend is a magnet drawing us into another world” – Eliza Cook

135. “When a close friend unexpectedly leaves us, a piece of our heart is forever broken” – Chris Lumpkin

Short Grief Quotes To Encourage You To Get Over It

136. Grief changes shape, but it never ends.” — Keanu Reeves

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137. Given a choice between grief and nothing, I’d choose grief.” — William Faulkner

138. “Everyone can master grief but he has it.” — William Shakespeare

139. “Grief can derange even the strongest and most disciplined of minds.” ― George R.R. Martin

140. “If it were possible to heal sorrow by weeping and to raise the dead with tears, gold was less prized than grief.” — Sophocles

141. “Grief and love are conjoined—you don’t get one without the other.” — Jandy Nelson

142. “Grief, no matter where it comes from, can only be resolved by connecting to other people.” — Thomas Horn

143. “Grief can’t be shared. Everyone carries it alone; his own burden in his own way.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh

144. “There is a point at which even grief feels absurd. And at this point, laughter gushes up to retrieve sanity.” — Alice Walker

145. The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one.” — Seneca

Grief Quotes To Help You Recover

146. “Each of us has his own rhythm of suffering.” ― Roland Barthes

147. “Grief takes many forms, including the absence of grief.” ― Alison Bechdel

148. “Her grief still burdened her, and she knew she would bear it the rest of her days.” ― Dana Fuller Ross

149. “Men cannot grieve as dogs do. But they grieve for many years.” ― Robin Hobb

150. “The grief that does not speak whispers the o’erfraught heart and bids it break.” ― William Shakespeare

151. “[Grief is pain internalized, abscess of the soul. Anger is pain as energy, sudden explosion.]” ― Lauren Groff

152. “I decide this is just A Bad Day. We all get them, because grief doesn’t care how many years it’s been.” ― Sara Barnard

153. “[Grief is for the strong, who use it as fuel for burning.]” ― Lauren Groff

154. “I do not believe that grief is ever so great that it can not be contained within.” ― Judith McNaught

155. “…grief had no mercy, time limit, or expiration date.” ― Rebecca Yarros

Grief Quotes To Help You Process Your Emotions

156. “Grief is itself a medicine.” — William Cowper

157. “Our grief is as individual as our lives.” — Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

158. “No journey out of grief was straightforward. There would be good days and bad days.” ― Jojo Moyes

159. While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till grief be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.” — Samuel Johnson

160. “Healing comes from letting there be room for all of “this” to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” — Pema Chodron

161. “Grief drives men into habits of serious reflection, sharpens the understanding, and softens the hearts.” — John Adams

162.“Grief can take care if itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.” — Mark Twain

163. “One often calms one’s grief by recounting it.” — Pierre Corneille

164. “Life Lesson 3: You can’t rush grief. It has its own timetable. All you can do is make sure there are lots of soft places around — beds, pillows, arms, laps.” ― Patti Davis

165. “In the expression of grief lies recovery from grief itself.” — Christopher Priest

Grief Quotes To Help you Let Go

166. “Grief is a sign that we loved something more than ourselves. . . . Grief makes us worthy to suffer with the rest of the world.” — Joan Chittister

167. “She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts.” — George Eliot

168. “Time takes away the grief of men.” — Desiderius Erasmus

169. “Grief knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can; and common sufferings are far stronger links than common joys.” — Alphonse De Lamartine

170. “Grief is love not wanting to let go.” — Earl A. Grollman

171. “One of the most important things we can do for people who are grieving is to give them a safe place in which to experience and express their pain.” — J. Nelson

172. “Grief is the agony of an instant. The indulgence of grief the blunder of a life.” — Benjamin Disraeli

173. “Since grief only aggravates your loss, grieve not for what is past.” — Walker Percy

174. “Grief at the absence of a loved one is happiness compared to life with a person one hates.” — Jean De La Bruyere

175. “Grief will happen either as an open healing wound or a closed festering wound, either honestly or dishonestly, either appropriately or inappropriately. But emotions will be expressed.” — Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Finding Comfort in the Face of Grief Quotes

176. “It is better to die than to preserve this life by incurring disgrace. The loss of life causes but a moment’s grief, but disgrace brings grief every day of one’s life.” ― Chanakya

177. “Great grief does not of itself put an end to itself.” ― Seneca the Younger

178. “Where grief is fresh, any attempt to divert it only irritates.” ― Samuel Johnson

179. “Thus grief still treads upon the heels of pleasure; Married in haste, we may repent at leisure.” ― William Congreve

180. “Grief is so far from retrieving a loss that it makes it greater; but the way to lessen it is by a comparison with others’ losses.” ― William Wycherley

181. “He who is resolute conquers grief.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

182. “There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.” ― T. S. Eliot

183. “Some grief shows much of love, But much of grief shows still some want of wit.” ― William Shakespeare

184. “It’s the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet tender joy.” ― Fyodor Dostoevsky

185. Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it.” ― Joan Didion

Which of these grief quotes resonated with you best?

Though it can be particularly difficult if the individual was a family member or a close friend, grieving after a loss is healthy and completely necessary.

As long as we are mortal, death and grief happen.

And despite being a painful experience, grieving is a natural way for us to grow stronger and more resilient.

Hopefully, the above grief quotes will help you not only honor your loved one but also heal your heart and strengthen you.

Do you have any other uplifting grief quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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  1. Lyn Stevens

    January 10, 2023 at 8:52 AM

    Thank you for these beautiful quotes. My grief is new and so strong. My favourite right now, “ Come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream.” Euripides.

    • Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor

      January 10, 2023 at 11:29 AM

      We are glad you found these grief quotes helpful. Grief is hard and we are sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your favorite quote with us.

  2. Ronald P Hulse

    July 13, 2020 at 8:44 PM

    My favorite quote is one I originated. ” YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK.” By Ronnie Paul H

  3. Cathy

    June 30, 2020 at 6:33 PM

    Beautiful collection of quotes. I facilitate a bereavement group, and each night we start by lighting a candle and I read a quote that is applicable to the topic we are discussing. It’s our form of a simple meditation. Thank you for sharing these quotes. So many of them are absolutely perfect!

  4. Sheri

    February 11, 2020 at 12:48 AM

    Thank you for the quotes and the valuable insight into dealing with grief. So many of the quotes ring true. It’s not easy to grieve but it is necessary when you have loved someone so much. Thank you for helping me put my feelings into words.

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