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
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.) ”When we lose someone we love we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind.” – Anonymous
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.) ”And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.” – Maya Angelou
Grief quotes to bring healing and peace
13.) ”Grief is the price we pay for love.” – Queen Elizabeth II
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.) ”The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” – Pierre Auguste Renoir
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.) ”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
19.) ”Grief I’ve learned is just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” – Anonymous
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.) ”It’s OK to feel sad sometimes. Little by little, you’ll feel better again.” – Anonymous
22.) ”Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” – Megan Devine
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
25.) ”Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” – José N. Harris
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.) ”My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.” – Jandy Nelson
28.) ”Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, how it holds you in place.” – Sarah Dessen
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.) ”Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope” – Elizabeth Gilbert
Grief quotes to help commemorate and remember the deceased
31.) ”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.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler
32.) ”You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell. You grieve. Then you continue with your life. And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live.” – Neil Gaiman
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.) ”I miss her all the time. I know in my head that she has gone. The only difference is that I am getting used to the pain. It’s like discovering a great hole in the ground. To begin with, you forget it’s there and keep falling in. After a while, it’s still there, but you learn to walk round it.” – Rachel Joyce
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.) ”See, as much as you want to hold on to the bitter sore memory that someone has left this world, you are still in it. And the very act of living is a tide: at first it seems to make no difference at all, and then one day you look down and see how much pain has eroded.” – Jodi Picoult
38.) ”All the times I have suddenly realized that my parents are dead, even now, it still surprises me, to exist in the world while that which made me has ceased to exist.” – Nicole Krauss
39.) ”How long will you grieve? How long will they be dead?” – David Kessler
40.) ”The only way to end grief was to go through it.” – Holly Black
Grief quotes on coping and life after loss
41.) ”Grief is never something you get over. You don’t wake up one morning and say, ‘I’ve conquered that; now I’m moving on.’ It’s something that walks beside you every day. And if you can learn how to manage it and honour the person that you miss, you can take something that is incredibly sad and have some form of positivity.” – Terri Irwin
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.) ”During my days of deepest grief, in all of my shock, sorrow and struggle, I sat at the feet of God. I literally spent hours each day reading God’s word, meditating on scripture and praying. I intentionally spent a significant amount of time being still before God.” – Rick Warren
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
Other 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.) “I am in the unthinkable situation that people cannot bear to contemplate.” ― Sonali Deraniyagala
60.) “Tears have always been easier to shed than explain.”― Marty Rubin
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.) “Loss is only temporary when you believe in God!”― Latoya Alston
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
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.