Words of comfort for our times of great sorrow

Most of us wish we had the right words of comfort following a death. Here are 50 of the most timeless sympathy quotes about grief from history, literature, the Bible, and other sources of peace and wisdom. 

  • "Death ends a life, not a relationship."
    —Mitch Albom
     
  • "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
    —Psalms 34:18
     
  • "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
    —Matthew 5:4
     
  • "What is lovely never dies, but passes into another loveliness, star-dust or sea-foam, flower or winged air."
    —Thomas Bailey Aldrich
     
  • "The darker the night, the brighter the stars; the deeper the grief, the closer is God!"
    —Fyodor Dostoevsky
     
  • "All things grow with time, except grief."
    —Jewish proverb
     
  • "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 indelible imprint in our memories."
    —Leo Buscaglia
     
  • "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
     
  • "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly."
    —Richard Bach
     
  • "In times of grief and sorrow I will hold you and rock you and take your grief and make it my own. When you cry I cry and when you hurt I hurt. And together we will try to hold back the floods of tears and despair and make it through the potholed street of life."
    —Nicholas Sparks
     
  • "Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow." 
    —Robert Louis Stevenson
     
  • "Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other."
    —Jandy Nelson
     
  • "End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The gray rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it."
    —J.R.R. Tolkien
     
  • "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
    —Alfred Lord Tennyson
     
  • "Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it."
    —Helen Keller
     
  • “He spoke well who said that graves are the footprints of angels.”
    —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
     
  • "The pain of grief is just as much part of life as the joy of love: it is perhaps the price we pay for love, the cost of commitment."
    —Dr. Colin Murray Parkes
     
  • “Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.”
    —Emily Dickinson
     
  • "The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal."
    —C.S. Lewis
     
  • "There is no death. Only a change of worlds."
    —Chief Seattle
     
  • "Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain."
    —Vivian Greene
     
  • "It is not length of life, but depth of life."
    —Ralph Waldo Emerson
     
  • "There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief."
    —Aeschylus
     
  • "My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today."
    —Richard Adams
     
  • "Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow." 
    —Rita Schiano
     
  • "Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us."
    —Meister Eckhart
     
  • "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble."
    —2 Corinthians 1: 3, 4
     
  • "To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever."
    —J.K. Rowling
     
  • "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
     
  • "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
    —A.A. Milne
     
  • “Say not in grief ‘he is no more’ but in thankfulness that he was.” 
    —Hebrew Proverb
     
  • "Darkness may hide the trees and the flowers from the eyes but it cannot hide love from the soul."
    —Rumi
     
  • "For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone."
    —Lamentations 3: 31-33
     
  • “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
     
  • "I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus."
    —1 Thessalonians 4: 13, 14
     
  • “There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” 
    —Mahatma Gandhi
     
  • "Pain shared, my brother, is pain not doubled, but halved. No man is an island."
    —Neil Gaiman
     
  • "Do not cry because they are past! Smile, because they once were!"
    —Ludwig Jacobowski
     
  • "If it were possible to heal sorrow by weeping and to raise the dead with tears, gold were less prized than grief."
    —Sophocles
     
  • "He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend."
    —Sir Henry Taylor
     
  • "It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone."
    —John Steinbeck
     
  • "Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow."
    —Robert Louis Stevenson
     
  • "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
    —Psalm 147:3
     
  • "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."
    —Leo Tolstoy
     
  • "Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o'er wrought heart and bids it break."
    —William Shakespeare
     
  • "Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion."
    —Dylan Thomas
     
  • "All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."
    —C.S. Lewis
     
  • "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."
    —Psalm 30: 5
     
  • "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
     
  • "They say that a part of you dies when a special loved one passes away... I disagree... I say a part of you lives with your loved one on the other side."
    —Daniel Yanez
     
  • "It is the will of God and Nature that these mortal bodies be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real life; 'tis rather an embryo state, a preparation for living; a man is not completely born until he be dead: Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals?"
    —Benjamin Franklin
     
  • "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
    —Revelation 21: 4
     
  • "Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight."
    —Rossiter W. Raymond
     
  • "Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains."
    —Kahlil Gibran
     
  • "There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning."
    —Thornton Wilder
     
  • "To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die."
    —Thomas Campbell

     

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