Below, we’ve curated over a hundred quotes about death. These 101 quote on death will inspire, comfort, and provide words for that unnamed feeling you have that mixes grief and joy, longing and contentment.
Read and consider the words below if you have lost a loved one, or know someone who has. Even if you haven’t experienced a recent loss, we all will face death in some shape or form throughout our lives.
Among the sentences below you’ll find quotes on death from famous authors, ancient and modern alike, that will help all of us to consider at the end of life with clear eyes and honest, inquisitive, and hopeful hearts.
Thinking About the End
The death quotes below are meant to comfort and inspire, to stir your soul and help improve quality of life for you and your loved ones. If you find that you are feeling overwhelmed with grief or sadness, or you simply feel you can’t go on, there is a qualified professional who is ready and willing to talk or chat with you here.
Death can be sad or frightening. It can be weird and even funny. It can feel like a relief at the end of a long, rewarding journey, or the cold unknown from which even our dreams recoil.
These quotes will help us to think about death, dying, and remembering those who have passed. A thoughtful quote can provide comfort for our own grieving hearts or that of a friend. Expanding our minds in this way helps us express the sorrow we feel while treasuring the memories we keep.
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- Losing a Loved One
- Quotes for a Friend
- Quotes About Death & Dying
- Missing You Quotes
- Comforting Quotes About Death
- Remembrance Quotes
- Death Anniversary Quotes
101 Best Quotes About Death & Losing a Loved One
Many of these quotes about losing a loved one may be ideal for a eulogy or epitaph. These are the inspirational and comforting death quotes that highlight the life and legacy of a dear mother, father, or someone else important in your life.
Loss of Mother Quotes
She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.
– Ariana Dancu
During the eulogy [of my mother], I found myself saying, “Now I am an orphan. My brothers and sister are orphans.” Even as I said those words, I felt that they were surprising. The word orphan usually connotes helplessness. But I, my brothers and sister were married, had families of our own. We were not helpless. We were adults in the middle of our own lives. Nevertheless, I felt orphaned. And years later, I still feel so. The death of a parent changes one’s life in practical and abstract ways. I don’t think that one ever stops missing a deceased parent.
– Marc D. Angel, On the Death of a Parent
Losing a mother doesn’t happen in a moment. It takes years to appreciate the impact of what’s gone.
– Lisa-Jo Baker
Instill the love of you into all the world, for a good character is what is remembered.
– The Teaching for Merikare, Parable 24
The best lessons, the best sermons are those that are lived.
– Yolanda King
A mother’s love is unlike any other: It lasts forever.
She fought the good fight; she finished the race; she kept the faith.
– Based on II Timothy 4:7
Loss of Father Quotes
He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.
– Bessie Anderson Stanley
shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues’ rhetoric,
not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,
but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives
fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.
– Frederick Douglass
His death diminishes us all.
– Derived from John Donne (see here)
I should like my epitaph to say, ‘He helped people see God in the ordinary things of life, and he made children laugh.’
– Reverend W. Awdry
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
when he delights in his way.
– Psalm 37:23
My father took to his grave the short-sleeved, beer-swilling men of summer, big bellies, raucous laughter, pipe smoke and the aroma of cigars. My daddy is really gone and his vacant place is my cold, hard border. As always, my life is framed by his absence.
– Bebe Moore Campbell, Sweet Summer: Growing Up With and Without My Dad
Sometimes the strong die, too.
– Louis Gosset Jr.
Once the glue of the family passes away, holidays just aren’t the same anymore.
Related: First Christmas Without a Loved One: Grief and the Holidays
He fought the good fight; he finished the race; he kept the faith.
– Based on II Timothy 4:7
The measure of a man is in the lives he’s touched.
– Erin Banks
Loss of Husband or Wife Quotes
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever;
I was wrong.
– W. H. Auden, Funeral Blues
We were together. I forget the rest.
– Walt Whitman
For a season there must be pain –
For a little, little space
I shall lose the sight of her face,
Take back the old life again
While She is at rest in her place.
– Rudyard Kipling, The Widower
I feel the loss more than I had thought I should… Without my wishing it she chose to lose herself in me, and the result was she became truly my better half.
– Mahatma Ghandi, on the passing of his wife Kasturba
All I have I would have given gladly not to be standing here today.
– Lyndon Baines Johnson, in his first speech to Congress after the death of JFK
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If every wife was happy with a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.
– Anne Bradstreet, To My Dear and Loving Husband
And to us here, ah! she remains
A lovely memory.
She came, she loved and then she went away.
– Angelina Weld Grimké, To Keep the Memory Of Charlotte Forten Grimké
I will not hide my grief, as I did not hide my love.
For the rest of my life I will search for moments full of you.
Loss of Child Quotes
I’d rather miss you forever than never have met you.
– Sara Millen
With the death of a husband, you lose your present; with the death of a parent, the past; but with the death of a child you lose your future.
– Shalom Levy
The reality is that we don’t forget, move on, and have closure. But rather we honor, we remember, and incorporate our deceased children and siblings into our lives in a new way. In fact, keeping memories of your loved one alive in your mind and heart is an important part of your healing journey.
– Harriet Schiff, The Bereaved Parent
Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade,
Death came with friendly care;
The opening bud to heaven conveyed,
And bade it blossom there.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Epitaph on an Infant
Life went on,
But it was
– David Jones
Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form.
– Shakespeare, King John
There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.
Oh, when a mother meets on high
The babe she lost in infancy,
Hath she not then for pains and fears,
The day of woe, the watchful night,
For all her sorrow, all her tears,
An over-payment of delight?
– Robert Southey, The Curse of Kehama
Grief is the art of living after your heart is ripped out of your body.
And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief.
– William Cullen Bryant
Loss of Brother Quotes
Oh, call my brother back to me!
I cannot play alone:
The summer comes with flower and bee,—
Where is my brother gone?
– Felicia D. Hemans, The Child’s First Grief
There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains.
There’s no other love like the love for a brother. There’s no other love like the love from a brother.
– Terri Guillemets
To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, creatures to people the tree of your life and give it new branches.
– Yann Martel, Life of Pi
And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief.
– William Cullen Bryant
Loss of Sister Quotes
Her suffering ended with the day,
Yet lived she at its close,
And breathed the long, long night away
In statue-like repose.
But when the sun in all his state
Illumed the eastern skies,
She passed through Glory’s morning-gate,
And walked in Paradise.
– James Aldrich, A Death-Bed
When you lose a precious member of your family, the love you shared does not die with them. It lives on forever among the shattered pieces of your heart.
– Gillian Roberts
Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.
– C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Death Quotes for a Friend
True friendship is discovered in times of difficulty. Are you the friend who, as the proverb says, “sticks closer than a brother” (or sister)? Take these quotes to heart, show your friend love and support, and let them know you’re there for them.
Related: What to say (and what NOT to say) when someone dies
Do not try to comfort your friend while his deceased relative is not yet buried.
– Ethics of the Fathers (4:18)
Death ends a life, not a relationship.
– Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.
Come, you disconsolate, where’er you languish;
come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal.
– Thomas Moore, Come Ye Disconsolate
We are not friends
because of the laughs
but the tears
– Nikki Giovanni, Jr., A Poem of Friendship
When we ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain… That is a friend who cares.
– Henri Nouwen
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
Honest listening is one of the best medicines we can offer the dying and the bereaved.
– Jean Cameron
Tell your friend that in his death, a part of you dies and goes with him. Wherever he goes, you also go. He will not be alone.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.
– C.S. Lewis
Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone.
What is the best quote when someone dies?
“I’m sorry for your loss. ____ was an amazing person, and will be greatly missed.”
This is a frequent question. While you can say any number of good, true, and encouraging things, there is a reason why “I am sorry for your loss” continues to be the traditional phrase.
Quotes About Death & Dying
Among the following quotes you’ll find all sorts of ideas. As with life, people think and talk about death in serious and snarky ways, sometimes deeply philosophical and other times irreverently lighthearted. There is a season for everything, indeed.
Related: 30 Questions About Death, Dying, & Your Legacy
Ain’t nothing wrong with talking about death. That’s part of life.
– August Wilson, Fences
Behold and see as you pass by
As you are now, so once was I;
As I am now, so you will be-
Prepare for death and follow me.
– Anonymous, commonly found on Colonial-era gravestones
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
Because I could not stop for death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
– Emily Dickinson
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
Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.
– Oscar Wilde
Let us endeavor to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. – Mark Twain
Is an art, like everything else.
– Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus
To die will be an awfully big adventure.
– J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.
– Thomas Moore
In their death they were not divided.
– 2 Samuel 1:23
Thank Heaven! the crisis,
The danger, is past,
And the lingering illness
Is over at last –
And the fever called “Living”
Is conquered at last.
– Edgar Allan Poe
Death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent, it clears out the old to make way for the new.
– Steve Jobs
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so.
– John Donne, Holy Sonnets
Why fear death? It is the most beautiful adventure of life.
– Charles Frohman
Death never takes the wise man by surprise, he is always ready to go.
– Jean de La Fontaine
Dying is no big deal. The least of us can manage that. Living is the trick.
– Red Smith, in his eulogy for Fred Corcoran
Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
– W. Somerset Maugham
God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.
– Stonewall Jackson
Death is nothing at all… I have only slipped away into the next room.
– Henry Scott Holland
To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride!’
– Hunter S. Thompson
Xerxes the Great did die,
And so must you and I.
– New England Primer, 1688
By becoming deeply aware of our mortality, we intensify our experience of every aspect of life.
– Robert Greene
Life is a great surprise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.
– Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire
I often feel that death is not the enemy of life, but its friend, for it is the knowledge that our years are limited which makes them so precious.
– Joshua Loth Liebman, Peace of Mind
Related: Inspirational Quotes About Death
Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
– Attributed to Severn Darden
If there wasn’t death, I think you couldn’t go on.
– Stevie Smith
It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.
– Samuel Johnson, from Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson
Shrouds have no pockets.
– Yiddish proverb
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
– Mark Twain
Remember: it is not give to man to take his goods with him.
No one goes away and then comes back.
– The Song of the Harper, circa 2650-2600 B.C.
I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.
– Thomas Hobbes, his last words
Yes, drifting, drifting; and I thought that life,
When nearing death is like the sunset sky
And death is but the slow, sure drifting in,
To rest far more securely, by and by.
– Olivia Ward Bush-Banks, Driftwood
Death stops the body’s work, the soul’s a journeyman.
– Natasha Trethewey, Native Guard
To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.
– Shakespeare, Hamlet
No matter how recent or how long it’s been, sometimes you just miss that person who is gone. These quotes capture that bittersweet feeling of love, yearning, memory, sadness, and grief.
More: Missing You: 22 Honest Quotes About Grief
When we lose someone we love we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind.
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide.
– Edna St Vincent Millay, Time does not bring relief
It is both a blessing
And a curse
To feel everything
So very deeply.
Memories are smoke
lips we can’t kiss
hands we can’t hold
will never be
enough for us.
– Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Rites of Passage
The people who think there is a time limit for grief have never lost a piece of their heart.
The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone. – Harriet Beecher Stowe
Some nights in the midst of this loneliness I swung among the scattered stars at the end of the thin thread of faith alone.
– Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
I walk down memory lane because I love running into you.
Still so gently o’er me stealing,
Mem’ry will bring back the feeling,
Spite of all my grief revealing,
That I love thee,—that I dearly love thee still.
– Vincenzo Bellini, Opera of La Sonnambula
Die, my dear Doctor, that’s the last thing I shall do!
– Lord Palmerston (his last words)
Grief is the loudest silence I have ever heard.
Comforting Quotes About Death
Real, genuine comfort is found in hope for the future and memories of the past. These comforting quotes about death help us to treasure what we had while looking ahead to what comes after this life.
Related: Memorial Quotes for Inscriptions, Epitaphs, & More
As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
– Leonardo da Vinci
Soon I will be done with the troubles of the world
Going home to live with God
– Traditional African-American spiritual
To love anything good, at any cost, is a bargain.
– Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
God… is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.
– Ephesians 3:20, TLB
A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.
– Lao Tzu
And all our calm is in that balm –
Not lost but gone before.
– Caroline Norton
If I never see you again, I’ll see you in the Kingdom.
– Harriet Tubman
Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened. – Dr. Seuss
Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.
– Rabindranath Tagore
Though death has divided us, yet we do live together already, in a Holy Communion of Saints. If the dead, and we, be not upon one floor, nor under one story, yet we are under one roof. We think not a friend lost, because he is gone into another room, nor because he is gone into another Land; and into another world, no man is gone, for that Heaven, which God created, and this world, is all one world.
– John Donne
Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped into the next room.
I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household world that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect, without the ghost of shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!Henry Scott Holland
In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.
– Robert Green Ingersoll
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
– Dylan Thomas, And death shall have no dominion
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on you, because they trust in you. – Isaiah 26:3
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 – it still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.
– Anne Lamott
We have suffered bereavement after bereavement, but we are going to the land of the immortal where graves do not exist.
– C.H. Spurgeon
Several months before Amy died, she stopped by the local florist’s shop on her way to visit a friend.
While she was there, she noticed several large arrangements that had been prepared for a funeral scheduled for later that day. Though the flowers were beautiful, she frowned at the various cards attached to each arrangement. They read, ‘With deepest sympathy,’ or ‘With our condolences.’
She slowly shook her head and said to the florist, ‘Those cards are far too depressing. I don’t want any like those on the flowers at my funeral.’ She began thumbing through the cards that were on display, and smiled as she pulled one out and laid it on the counter. ‘This is the card I want on my flowers,’ she said as she turned and left the shop.
Three months later, at her memorial service, all the flowers at the graveside and church included the card she had selected. ‘Welcome to your new home.’Edward A. Hartman, Homeward Bound
Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
– A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Grief is love with no place to go. – Anonymous
Christ never preached any funeral sermons.
– D.L. Moody
While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil…
– John Taylor
Death is no punishment to the believer; it is the gate of endless joy.
– C.H. Spurgeon
Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness.
– Floyd W. Tomkins
Grief is deep because the memories we shared with them are deep. As time passes, those memories change. Some soften, some disappear, others emerge with greater meaning.
In all, we want to remember not just our loved ones but – perhaps more importantly – the stories we created together with our lives. These remembrance quotes help us to contemplate what it means to remember a loved one.
More: 50 In Loving Memory Quotes to Honor Your Loved One
Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.
– George Eliot
I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.
– Corazon Aquino
There should be an invention that bottles up the memory like a perfume, and it never faded, never got stale, and whenever I wanted to I could uncork the bottle, and live the memory all over again.
– Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
If we could heal sorrow by weeping and raise the dead with tears, gold would be less prized than grief.
– Adapted from Sophocles
Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us; our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.
– Albert Einstein
Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.
It’s a pleasure to share one’s memories. Everything remembered is dear, endearing, touching, precious.
– Susan Sontag
Their bodies are buried in peace, but their name liveth forevermore.
Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories. – Ronald Reagan
Gone are the living, but the dead remain,
And not neglected; for a hand unseen,
Scattering its bounty like summer rain,
Still keeps their graves and their remembrance green.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Jewish Cemetery
No one knew you but to love you,
No one named you but to praise.
– Our paraphrase of Fitz-Greene Halleck
Green be the turf above thee,
Friend of my better days!
None knew thee but to love thee,
Nor named thee but to praise.
– Fitz-Greene Halleck, On the Death of Joseph Rodman Drake
In a time of destruction, create something. A poem. A parade. A community. A school. A vow. A moral principle. One peaceful moment.
– Maxine Hong Kingston, The Fifth Book of Peace
When the dead are buried among their people and families, and their names are remembered by them, it is as though they continue to participate in life upon earth.
– Yechezkel Kaufmann
Life is short, and it’s up to you to make it sweet.
– Sadie Delany, Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years
Per aspera ad astra.
(“Through hardships to the stars.”)
– Ancient Latin aphorism
The pain passes, but the beauty remains. – Pierre Auguste Renoir
It is not I that belong to the past, but the past that belongs to me.
– Mary Antin, The Promised Land
Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.
– Willa Cather, My Ántonia
The night is thick, the night is tough. But still our hope is kept safe in the depths of our hearts.
– Frankétienne, Dezafi
Every day is borrowed time. You want to be able to use life as well as death as a form of service to something bigger than you; that makes life meaningful.
– Cornel West
Memories… form the building blocks of family history. They are the stories that survive in our kitchens and in our living rooms. Stories that tell it like it is about the way it was, the way it used to be. Some are humorous, others are painful, even embarrassing, but all of them make up the essence of African American history.
– Henry Louis Gates, Jr., African American Lives
Someone said that God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.
– J.M. Barrie
Read more: 50+ Best In Loving Memory Quotes
Death Anniversary Quotes
Every year that day comes. And you remember. Here are some quotes to encourage, inspire, and help you reflect.
Related: Death Anniversary: How to Remember & Celebrate Your Loved One
I still tell you things in our imaginary conversations.
– Adapted from Reddit user Pinkypieluvpup
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.
– William Wordsworth, Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Childhood
If you get there before I do
Look out for me, I’m coming too
– Traditional African-American spiritual
Memories are not shackles, Franklin, they are garlands.
– Alan Bennett
We love because it’s the only true adventure.
– Nikki Giovanni, Jr., Love: Is a Human Condition
When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
– Walt Whitman
If life must not be taken too seriously, then so neither must death.
– Samuel Butler
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
– Laurence Binyon, For the Fallen
Read next: Happy Birthday in Heaven: Remembering Your Loved One