Bereavement Quotes That May Provide Comfort In Times Of Grief

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated April 24, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that could be triggering to the reader. Please see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

Loss and grief are unavoidable elements of the human condition, but that doesn't mean they're not extremely difficult to experience. Everyone grieves in their own way, which means each person may have different preferences regarding the support they receive or how they cope. 

For some people, insightful quotes about this human experience can provide comfort when managing a loss. Whether you read them yourself or offer them to a grieving loved one, the bereavement quotes below may bring some solace. First, we'll cover the basics of the grieving process and a few reminders about it.

Looking for support in the grieving process?

Helpful reminders about the grieving process

Many people are familiar with the five stages model of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It was proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying, and it has become widely known since then. However, it's worth remembering that it's simply one of many frameworks used to describe a complex, indescribable, and highly individual process. In other words, it’s not unusual if the grieving process of yourself or a loved one looks different. Even if you pass through some of the five stages, they may not be ‘in order,’ you might skip some, or you might spend a while in one, move to another, and then move back.

Grief is an intricate and personal process, and frameworks like the five stages model are intended to be helpful rather than prescriptive.

That’s why it’s typically best to approach the grieving process with no expectations or judgments regarding the emotions you or a loved one may experience, as long as they’re safe. Patience, compassion, and gentleness are often key. In addition, some people find words of comfort to be helpful. 

First, you might look into suggestions on what you might consider saying—or not saying—to a person experiencing grief. Second, you might find the bereavement-related quotes below to be a source of comfort, whether you’re holding on to them yourself or offering them to someone in your life who has experienced a loss.

Comforting quotes about grief

While not everyone will find them helpful, some people may benefit from looking through grief-related quotes. They might gain inspiration from some or the comfort of knowing they’re not alone in their experience with others. 

Quotes on the nature of grief

  • “We don’t know how we will grieve until we grieve.” –Chimamanda Adichie

  • “Grief is neither an illness nor a pathological condition, but rather a highly personal and normal response to life-changing events, a natural process that can lead to healing and personal growth. The transition through this difficult time is a courageous journey.” –Sandi Caplan and Gordon Lang

  • “When a loss hits us, we have not only the particular loss to mourn but also the shattered beliefs and assumptions of what life should be.” –Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler

  • "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

  • “Absence is a house so vast that inside you will pass through its walls and hang pictures on the air.” –Pablo Neruda

  • “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” –J.R.R. Tolkien

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

  • “The pain passes but the beauty remains.” –Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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

  • "No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear." –C.S. Lewis

Quotes on experiencing and honoring the loss of an individual

  • “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

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

  • "I'll be seeing you / In all the old familiar places / That this heart of mine embraces / All day through." –Billie Holiday, I'll Be Seeing You

  • "I still miss those I loved who are no longer with me but I find I am grateful for having loved them. The gratitude has finally conquered the loss." –Rita Mae Brown

  • “Remembering is an act of resurrection / Each repetition is a vital layer of mourning / In memory of those we are sure to meet again” –Nancy Cobb

  • "The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living." –Marcus Tullius Cicero

  • "Let no one weep for me, or celebrate my funeral with mourning; for I still live, as I pass to and fro through the mouths of men." –Quintus Ennius

  • “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

  • “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” –Winnie the Pooh

  • “Without you in my arms, I feel an emptiness in my soul. I find myself searching the crowds for your face — I know it’s an impossibility, but I cannot help myself.” –Nicholas Sparks

  • "The melody that the loved one played upon the piano of your life will never be played quite that way again, but we must not close the keyboard and allow the instrument to gather dust. We must seek out other artists of the spirit, new friends who gradually will help us to find the road to life again, who will walk the road with us." –Joshua Loth Liebman

  • "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

  • "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

Quotes that suggest unique perspectives on loss

  • "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

  • "Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well." –Buddhist saying

  • “Never. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms.” –Paulo Coelho

  • “And when great souls die, after a period, peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.” –Maya Angelou

  • “Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, and feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.” –Haruki Murakami

  • "Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely." –Buddha

  • “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

  • “They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite.” –Cassandra Clare.

  • "Nothing that grieves us can be called little; by the external laws of proportion a child's loss of a doll and a king's loss of a crown are events of the same size." –Mark Twain

  • "Tears are sometimes an inappropriate response to death. When a life has been lived completely honestly, completely successfully, or just completely, the correct response to death's perfect punctuation mark is a smile." –Julie Burchill

Looking for support in the grieving process?

Getting support for grief

Although everyone navigates grief in their own way, many people may benefit from seeking support at some point in their grieving process. Some find solace in books or podcasts about grief. Others turn to support groups, especially if they’re looking for those who have had specific common experiences related to grief. Many others choose to reach out to a mental health professional like a therapist for support in processing their grief and developing healthy coping mechanisms. A therapist can also help address any mental health concerns that may have arisen as a result of loss, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or complicated grief.

Not everyone feels comfortable speaking about this deeply personal set of emotions with someone they don’t know face to face. That’s where online therapy can come into play. With a platform like BetterHelp, you can get matched with a licensed therapist who you can meet with via phone, video call, and/or in-app messaging to address the challenges you may be facing. As a 2021 study suggests, online therapeutic interventions can be effective in treating symptoms of grief, depression, and other related conditions, so it can be worth exploring for those who find this format to be more effective, comfortable, or convenient.


Going through the experience of grief can be challenging, and advice for coping varies widely because each individual will process such an experience in their own way. For those who find comfort in grief quotes, those listed above may help. You can also find support through grief podcasts, books, and support groups, as well as reaching out to a compassionate therapist.
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