Words of Inspiration: Proverbs About Death

Select sayings about death, grief and mourning from various cultures

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There are many proverbs and folk sayings about death, mourning and grief. Photo © Thomas Northcut/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 select collection of proverbs and folk sayings about death, grief and mourning from a variety of cultural traditions. You might find these sayings helpful when writing a eulogy or condolence letter, particularly if you're having trouble finding the right words and need inspiration.

• All things grow with time except grief.

• All who have died are equal.

• An advantage of poverty: your relatives gain nothing by your death.

• As long as a man lives, the entire world is too small for him. After death, the grave is big enough.

• As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

• Death doesn't just look through the book of the old.

• Death doesn't knock on the door.

• Everybody will undergo the sentence of the grave.

• Everything revolves around bread and death.

• God is closest to those with broken hearts.

• Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names.

• If the rich could hire someone else to die for them, the poor would make a wonderful living.

• If you start thinking of death, you are no longer sure of life.

• He who comes for the inheritance is often made to pay for the funeral.

• Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way.

• Live that people may speak well of thee at thy grave. The just needs no memorial, for his deeds are his monument.

• Live your own life, for you will die your own death.

• Make sure to send a lazy man for the Angel of Death.

• Old age is not as honorable as death, but most people want it.

• One is certain only of death.

• Only love gives us the taste of eternity.

• Say not in grief he is no more, but live in thankfulness that he was.

• Sympathy is a little medicine to soothe the ache in another's heart.

• The death of an elderly man is like a burning library.

• The only truly dead are those who have been forgotten.

• The ugliest life is better than the nicest death.

• The whole world is a dream, and death the interpreter.

• There is a cure for everything except death.

• There is no one who can jump so high as to escape death.

• There is no rich person in a grave.

• To pay and to die... as late as possible.

• What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul.

• What you give for the cause of charity in health is gold; what you give in sickness is silver; what you give after death is lead.

• Who dies dies, and who lives lives.

• Who is old and doesn't believe it will trip into his grave without seeing it.

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