Many of us know the pain of grief that follows the loss of a remarkable loved one as a part of life. While death is universal, the emotions associated with grief can be confusing when we lose someone close to us. 

Although words can often fall short when trying to comfort those experiencing grief, they can offer us guidance along our healing journeys. Language is a powerful tool, whether we use it to explore the depths of our feelings or to show our love for the incredible people in our lives during a time of sorrow.

Authors, poets, and great thinkers have attempted to put language to these universal feelings of loss and grief. Their quotes offer different perspectives on loss that may help us feel understood and guide us along our path toward healing after the death of a loved one.

Quotes About Loss

Some quotes about loss celebrate the impact our loved ones had on our lives, while others try to explain feelings of grief. Below, we’ll find famous and heartfelt quotes about the loss of a loved one:

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” - Helen Keller

“Only a moment you stayed, but what an imprint your footprints have left on our hearts” - Dorothy Ferguson

“Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.” - Alphonse de Lamartine

This quote provides the comfort that our loved one’s memories will live on with us forever. Their impact is eternal and we can never lose the love we experienced for them.

“The act of living is different all through. Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.” - C.S. Lewis, author of God in the Dock and The Chronicles of Narnia

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” - Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)

“Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” - José N. Harris

“When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken.” - Maya Angelou

These words seek to describe the emotions associated with loss and the effect that losing a loved one has on us. Their words provide us with the sense and comfort that we are not alone in our experiences of grief and loss.

Grief Quotes

While grief looks different within each of us, it can often be described as a deep feeling of sorrow. These quotes about grief search for the ways in which grief can shape our character and strengthen our hearts.

“Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” - Kahlil Gibran

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o’er wrought heart and bids it break.” - William Shakespeare

“Grief does not change you. It reveals you. And herein lies the gift that cannot die. It changes the course of your life forever. If you allow yourself the chance to feel it for as long as you need to — even if it is for the rest of your life — you will be guided by it. You will become someone it would have been impossible for you to be, and in this way, your loved one lives on, in you.” - John Green

“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

“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

“His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

“Say not in grief ‘he is no more’ but live in thankfulness that he was.” - Hebrew Proverb

Quotes About the Grieving Process

Through experiencing our grief, we begin to carry with us the lessons we’ve learned through loss. The grieving process is not linear, but embracing it can help us along our healing journey.

“What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul.” - Jewish Proverb

“Tears water our growth.” - William Shakespeare

“I find myself searching the crowds for your face — I know it’s an impossibility, but I cannot help myself.” - Nicholas Sparks

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” - Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross

“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.” - Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross

"Forgiveness is healing ... especially forgiving yourself." - Alyson Noel

These quotes shift our perspectives on grief, seeing it as an opportunity to grow through immense pain and loss. It is an invitation to allow the pain of loss to lend us a new appreciation for life and sensitivity to others who may also be hurting.

Uplifting and Inspirational Quotes About Loss

Loss can shape our perspective on life in new ways, inspiring us to cherish every moment we have with our incredible loved ones. As we heal, we can begin to celebrate our remarkable loved ones and feel encouraged by their impact and legacy.

“It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up — that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.” - Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross

“There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” - Paulo Coelho

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” – Richard Bach

“I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an undeniable imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.” - Leo Buscaglia

“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.”- James O’Barr

"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

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”- A.A. Milne

These quotes challenge us to see the ways in which loss makes us stronger and gives us a deeper appreciation for the time we’ve been given with the people we love.

Comforting Quotes About Loss

These quotes provide a sense of comfort in knowing that the loved ones we have lost are now at peace. These words also provide comfort that we will experience peace again after their loss.

“Unable are the Loved to die, for love is immortality.” - Emily Dickinson

“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.” - Thomas Campbell

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” - J.K. Rowling

“Die happily and look forward to taking up a new and better form. Like the sun, only when you set in the west can you rise in the east.” - Rumi

“The grave itself is but a covered bridge, leading from light to light, through a brief darkness.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.” - Helen Keller

“Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still.” - William Penn

“And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Space fills 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

“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Wrapping Up

The words of poets and authors throughout history have tried to put language to the universal experience of grief and loss. Their words remind us that we are not alone while offering us new perspectives to help guide us along our healing journey in times of grief. 

While we may never find the right words to fully express our present grief, we can find encouragement from the voices of those who came before us.


Can Losing a Loved One Make You More Grateful? | Greater Good Magazine

What is grief? | Mayo Clinic 

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom | Goodreads