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Quotations about Grief

Related Quotes      In Sympathy      Crying      Heartache      Missing You      Adversity

Now leave, O leave me! I have stayed to hear
All the vain comfortings your lips have said,—
Well meant, but yet they fall upon my ear
As yellow leaves might whirl about my head,—
Now leave me with my dead.
~Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen (1832–1911), "Consolation," c.1866

No mourning can heal the wound of neverness. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

It's so curious:  one can resist tears and 'behave' very well in the hardest hours of grief.  But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer... and everything collapses.  ~Colette

Sorrow you can hold, however desolating, if nobody speaks to you.  If they speak, you break down.  ~Bede Jarrett

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

Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.  ~William Shakespeare

There are some griefs so loud
They could bring down the sky,
And there are griefs so still
None knows how deep they lie,
Endured, never expended.
~May Sarton, "Of Grief," A Durable Fire, 1972

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Grieving is a necessary passage and a difficult transition to finally letting go of sorrow — it is not a permanent rest stop.  ~Dodinsky,

'T is hard to part with one so sudden call'd,
So young, so happy, and so dearly loved;
To see the arrow at our idol hurl'd,
And vainly pray the shaft may be removed.
~Mary Ann H. Dodd Shutts (1813–1878), "The Mourner"

Man, when he does not grieve, hardly exists. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

[W]hile men are able to reflect upon their lost companions as remembrances apart from themselves; women, on the other hand, are conscious that a portion of their being has gone with the departed withersoever he has gone. Soul clings to soul; the living dust has a sympathy with the dust of the grave.... [A] shadow walks ever by her side, and the touch of a chill hand is on her bosom, yet life, and perchance its natural yearnings, may still be warm within her, and inspire her with new hopes of happiness. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Chippings With a Chisel," 1837

Even hundredfold grief is divisible by love. ~Terri Guillemets

Sorrow makes us all children again — destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes, even after someone dies, you want to send them a postcard. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2016 December 27th tweet,

No one can keep his griefs in their prime; they use themselves up.  ~E.M. Cioran

The heart bow'd down by weight of woe,
      To weakest hope will cling,
      To thought and impulse while they flow,
      That no comfort can bring;
      With those exciting scenes will blend,
      O'er pleasure's pathway thrown,
      But memory is the only friend
      That grief can call its own.
The mind will, in its worst despair,
      Still ponder o'er the past,
      On moments of delight that were
      Too beautiful to last;
      To long-departed years extend,
      Its visions, with them flown;
      For memory is the only friend
      That grief can call its own.
~Alfred Bunn (1796–1860), "The Heart Bowed Down," music by Michael William Balfe

Grief is a species of idleness.  ~Samuel Johnson

I too, have been a mourner. Sorrow deep
Its lava-tide around my pathway roll'd...
All joy grew dim before my tearful eye,
Which but the shadow of the grave could see;
There was no brightness in the earth or sky,
There was no sunshine in the world for me.
~Mary Ann H. Dodd Shutts (1813–1878), "The Mourner"

Grief is itself a medicine.  ~William Cowper, Charity

What does it comfort me, if still he walks
Beside me all the while, invisibly?
What does it help me, that a dear ghost mocks
Blind eyes with unseen smiles?...
      Find the graveward track
      And bring my darling back!
~Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen (1832–1911), "Consolation," c.1866

In my Lucia's absence
Life hangs upon me, and becomes a burden;
I am ten times undone, while hope, and fear,
And grief, and rage and love rise up at once,
And with variety of pain distract me.
~Joseph Addison

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.  ~Kenji Miyazawa

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.  ~From the television show The Wonder Years

We acquire the strength we have overcome.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Time is a physician that heals every grief.  ~Diphilus

'T is grief, but all its bitterness is past;
'T is sorrow, but its murmurings are o'er.
Within my soul, which to the storm was bow'd,
Now the white wing of Peace is folded deep;
And I have found, I trust, behind the cloud,
The blessing promised to the eyes that weep.
So thou wilt find relief. For deepest woe
A fount of healing in our pathway springs...
~Mary Ann H. Dodd Shutts (1813–1878), "The Mourner"

No one ever really dies as long as they took the time to leave us with fond memories.  ~Chris Sorensen

The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost.  ~Arthur Schopenhauer

There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out.  ~Lou Reed, "Magic and Loss"

[W]ounds of the spirit... are most gently soothed and made whole by the passing years. Under the old scars flows again the calm, healthful tide of life.... Under a great loss the heart impetuously cries that it can never be happy again, and perhaps in its desperation says that it wishes never to be comforted. But though angels do not fly down to open the grave and restore the lost, the days and months come as angels with healing in their wings. Under their touch aching regret passes into tender memory; into hands that were empty new joys are softly pressed; and the heart that was like the trees stripped of its leaves and beaten by winter's tempests is clothed again with the green of spring. ~George S. Merriam

Come, ye disconsolate, where'er you languish,
Come at the shrine of God fervently kneel;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish—
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.
~Thomas Moore, c.1813, published in Sacred Songs, 1816

By... this gleaming perpendicular milky way, his soul was slowly healed; but he was long imprisoned in the dark, cold, serpent's nest of envenomed pains; they entwined and crawled over him, even to his heart. ~Jean Paul Fr. Richter, "501st Station," The Campaner Thal: or, Discourses on the Immortality of the Soul, translated from German by Juliette Bauer

His father died before his time. "You're a man now," the village people told him. "If being broken-hearted is a man," he replied from his despair, "then, yes, I suppose I'm a man." ~Terri Guillemets

There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go.  ~Author Unknown

If you suppress grief too much, it can well redouble.  ~Moliere

We have learned so many lessons,
Since our heads were bowed in grief,
That have kept our boat from crashing
On life's ragged, rocky reef.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "To One I Love" (1940s)

Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature's delight.  ~Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.  ~Robert Ingersoll

Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.  ~Jacques Prévert

The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.  ~Henry Maudsley

Every evening I turn my worries over to God.  He's going to be up all night anyway.  ~Mary C. Crowley

She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts.  ~George Eliot

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.  ~John Taylor

As long as I can I will look at this world for both of us.  As long as I can I will laugh with the birds, I will sing with the flowers, I will pray to the stars, for both of us.  ~Sascha, as posted on

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Last modified 2017 May 06 Sat 20:07 PDT

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