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20+ Quotes about Grief

When processing grief, it’s often difficult to translate feelings into words. Sometimes, it can be helpful to lean on the words of others to show your emotions. From religious figures like Saint Francis of Assisi to world renown authors like Leo Tolstoy, many historical figures have written and spoken about the difficulty of losing a loved one, of pain, and of healing.

Here are 25 grief quotes from some of the most renown public figures in history that may help if you’re writing a eulogy, sending a condolence note, posting on an online memorial, or simply journaling for yourself.

  1. “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
  2. “Perhaps grief is not about empty, but full. The full breath of life that includes death. The completeness, the cycles, the depth, the richness, the process, the continuity, and the treasure of the moment that is gone the second you are aware of it. - Alysia Reiner
  3. “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
  4. “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
  5. “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”
  6. “Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.” - Anne Roiphe
  7. “You cut off the capacity for grief in your life and you cut off the capacity for joy at the same time. They both come up through the same tunnel. You don’t have one without the other.” - William Hurt
  8. “When grief is deepest, words are fewest.” - Ann Voskamp
  9. “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”
  10. “If you love, you will grieve, and that’s just given.” - Kay Redfield Jamison
  11. “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
  12. “Grief is the price we pay for love.” - Queen Elizabeth II
  13. “You give yourself permission to grieve by recognizing the need for grieving. Grieving is the natural way of working through the loss of a love. Grieving is not weakness nor absence of faith. Grieving is as natural as crying when you are hurt, sleeping when you are tired or sneezing when your nose itches. It is nature's way of healing a broken heart.” - Doug Manning
  14. “What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” - Helen Keller
  15. “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” - Pierre Auguste Renoir
  16. “You can not die of grief, though it feels as if you can. A heart does not actually break, though sometimes your chest aches as if it is breaking. Grief dims with time. It is the way of things. There comes a day when you smile again, and you feel like a traitor. How dare I feel happy. How dare I be glad in a world where my father is no more. And then you cry fresh tears, because you do not miss him as much as you once did, and giving up your grief is another kind of death.” - Laurell K. Hamilton
  17. “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” - Saint Francis of Assisi
  18. “The only cure for grief is action.” - George Henry Lewes
  19. “Grief and memory go together. After someone dies, that’s what you’re left with. And the memories are so slippery yet so rich.” - Mike Mills
  20. “Grief is a process, not a state.” - Anne Grant
  21. "To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” - Thomas Campbell
  22. “Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?” - Terry Pratchett
  23. “God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” - J.M. Barrie
  24. “There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part, so just give me a happy middle and a very happy start.” - Shel Silverstein
  25. “My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” - Clarence Budington Kelland
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Last updated February 9, 2021
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