Grief Quotes To Uplift Your Sadness

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated April 24, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and it is not uncommon to experience both emotional and physical reactions to the loss. The process of grieving can be different for everyone, as can its duration. Although grief can make you feel vulnerable, know that you are not alone. There are support groups and professional counselors with training and experience helping people navigate the grieving process. 

In addition to seeking support through counseling or bereavement groups, you may find it helpful to read what others have to say about the grieving process. Below are some quotes from famous authors and others who wrote about their experiences with grief.

Quotes about grief and the grieving process

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.” -C.S. Lewis

Grief quotes can help you feel less alone

  • “When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the soul laughs for what it has found.” - An old Sufi aphorism

  • “We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.” -Marcel Proust

  • “What is there to do when people die, people so dear and rare, but bring them back by remembering.” -May Sarton

  • "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

  • "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

  • "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, Evermore

  • "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." -Unknown

  • "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

  • "There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love." -Washington Irving

  • "Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion to death." -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

  • "Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand." -Patti Smith

  • "There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part, So just give me a happy middle And a very happy start." -Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

  • "Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated." -Alphonse de Lamartine, Méditations Poétiques

  • "The darker the night, the brighter the stars, The deeper the grief, the closer is God!" -Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

  • "It's the kind of heartache you can feel in your bones." -Unknown

  • "Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind." -Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

  • "I think I'll miss you forever, like the stars miss the sun in the morning skies." -Unknown

  • “Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

  • “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

  • “Grief can't be shared. Everyone carries it alone; his own burden in his own way.” -Anne Morrow Lindbergh

  • “Time heals griefs and quarrels, for we change and are no longer the same persons. Neither the offender nor the offended are any more themselves.” -Blaise Pascal

  • "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal." -Richard Puz

  • “Bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love.” -C. S. Lewis

  • "Grief is the price we pay for love." -Queen Elizabeth II

  • "To weep is to make less the depth of grief." -William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part II, Act II

  • "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

  • "Tears are the silent language of grief." -Voltaire

  • "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." -Winnie the Pooh

  • "Believe me, every heart has its secret sorrows, which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold, when he is only sad." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • "There is no grief like the grief that does not speak." -Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

  • "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

Advice from grief quotes

Sometimes our source of light comes from unexpected places in times of loneliness and darkness. If you are in a season of grief, witnessing the experiences of other people's journeys—even in written form—can be helpful. Although your journey through grief may be unique, you may find solace in these inspiring quotes and words from great thinkers who have felt the way you feel now.

  • "When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part." -John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
  • "To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness." -Erich Fromm
  • "To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness." -Erich Fromm
  • "We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey." -Kenji Miyazawa
  • "Grief is the last act of love we can give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love." -Unknown
  • "No matter how long it's been, there are times when it suddenly becomes harder to breathe." -Unknown
  • "The pain passes, but the beauty remains." -Pierre Auguste Renoir
  • "It is perfectly okay to admit you're not okay." -Unknown
  • "Grief never ends… But it changes. It's a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith… It is the price of love." -Unknown
  • "That's all it takes. The smallest reminder and in an instant, it feels like your stomach has fallen thirty stories and crashed into the steel roof of a truck. Loss is cruel like that, the days you think you're finally past it are the days it will punish you most." -Beau Taplin, The Punishment
  • "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 John Kessler
  • "A feeling of pleasure or solace can be so hard to find when you are in the depths of your grief. Sometimes it's the little things that help get you through the day. You may think your comforts sound ridiculous to others, but there is nothing ridiculous about finding one little thing to help you feel good in the midst of pain and sorrow!" -Elizabeth Berrien, Creative Grieving: A Hip Chick's Path from Loss to Hope
  • "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, Eat, Pray, Love

Grief quotes can help you feel less alone

Seeking help with grief

If you are experiencing symptoms of grief, it may help to speak with a licensed therapist who has experience helping people with the grieving process. In some cases, grief can progress into mental health concerns, such as depression and PTSD. According to Harvard Medical School, “Up to 50% of widows and widowers have depression symptoms during the first few months after a spouse's death. (By the one-year mark, the proportion is down to 10%.)” 

Online therapy for the grieving process

If feelings of grief make it difficult to leave home to see a therapist, you might consider online therapy. With online therapy, you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your home in a way that’s most comfortable for you—via audio, video, or live chat. Some people report that talking to a therapist from a distance makes it easier for them to express what they’re experiencing.

Numerous peer-reviewed studies demonstrated the effectiveness of online therapy. One meta-analysis of 17 studies found that online therapy was more effective than in-person counseling at reducing symptoms of depression. 

If you’re having trouble managing the symptoms of your grief and it’s starting to affect your ability to function, you may find it helpful to speak with a licensed online counselor at BetterHelp. Below are some reviews of BetterHelp therapists from people who have experienced grief and the loss of a loved one.

Counselor reviews

"She has helped me work on my grief and self-esteem more than anything or anyone. Her words and advice help me every single day. I still have a long way to go but I already feel better and I couldn't have done it without Carissa."

"Sarah is a kind person that listens intently, focuses on issues, and then helps find successful strategies to deal with those issues. Never once did I feel that she was judging me or talking down to me. She was easy for me to open up too, she was professional, and she took me seriously. Together we discussed issues of loss and grief from the passing of my father, which had become more than I could handle alone. She not only validated my feelings of loss, but she also helped me find ways to mitigate those feelings, break them down into their roots and causes then address those. Coping with grief and loss is hard work, but Sarah helped me find the tools I needed within myself to do that hard work and ultimately find success. I am a stronger person now. I am happy and confident. I may not know what is around the next corner, but I know that whatever it is, I can handle it."

Takeaway

Grief can affect each person differently, and there is no right or wrong way to experience the grieving process. No matter how you are experiencing grief or what stage of the process you’re in, you may find it helpful to talk to a licensed therapist, whether in person or online. With BetterHelp, you can be matched with a licensed therapist who has experience helping people through the grieving process. Take the first step toward getting support with your own grieving process and reach out to BetterHelp today.
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