Words of Inspiration: Grief, Loss and Mourning

Insightful, moving quotes and sayings about grief, loss and mourning

Grieving woman wearing veil
Mourning clothing can never fully convey the depth of grief after a death occurs. Photodisc/Getty Images

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 collection of insightful, profoundly moving quotes and sayings about the grief, loss and mourning felt after the death of a loved one.

You might find these lines helpful when writing a eulogy or condolence letter, particularly if you're having trouble finding the right words and need inspiration.

Bible, Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American poet and author
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 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, literary critic 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 and author
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.

Abraham Lincoln, U.S. president
In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all... Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not 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.

Edna St. Vincent Millay, American poet and 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, English entrepreneur and founder of Pennsylvania
For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, Swiss psychiatrist and author
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.

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.

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.

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.

"Tao Te Ching," Chinese philosophy book
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.

Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and author
Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion.

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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