It’s sad to say but with life comes death. It will happen to all of us. But that doesn’t make dealing with or understanding it any easier.
The devastation that the death of a friend or loved one causes is profound. And facing up to our mortality can be distressing too.
That’s why I’ve brought together these comforting, inspirational and sad death quotes. These quotes about death can help us to find some peace and solace when a loved one had passed away, bringing closure when we so desperately need it.
Looking for a way to cope or help with the loss of someone is natural. We seek ways to make tough times that bit easier, as well as some understanding.
And as dying has and continues to be a source of inspiration to art, literature and music, as well as talked about by some of the most famous people, there are many quotes about passing away. Hopefully they will either help ease the hurt and grief or find some comfort in knowing others have been through and felt the same emotions.
So use the death quotes and sayings you will find below to remember, grieve, recover and reassure.
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Life and Death
Short Death Quotes
These are some very simple and short quotes on death that quickly sum up the deep and long lasting impact it has on people.
- “Death may be the greatest of all human blessings” – Socrates
- “How people die remains in the memory of those who live on” – Dame Cicely Saunders
- “Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them” – George Eliot
- “It is natural to die as to be born” – Francis Bacon
- “Death is the wish of some, the relief of many, and the end of all” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
- “No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow” – Euripides
- “Death, they say, acquits us of all obligations” – Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
- “The goal of all life is death” – Sigmund Freud
- “After your death you will be what you were before your birth” – Arthur Schopenhauer
- “No one here gets out alive” – Jim Morrison
- “Nothing in life is promised except death” – Kanye West
- “I want to be all used up when I die” – George Bernard Shaw
Sad Death Quotes
Death almost always brings about unhappiness and despair for those who have lost someone. These quotes reflect that sadness and the pain death brings to those it affects.
- “And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief” – William Cullen Bryant
- “Grief is the price we pay for love” – Queen Elizabeth II
- “They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time” – Banksy
- “After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die” – E.B. White
- “Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out” – Mitch Albom
- “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone” – Harriet Beecher-Stowe
- “We will all, someday, experience death, and become obsolete as a dead leaf falling from a tree, crushed by passers-by to ashes underlying the earth” – Kim Elizabeth
- “The loss of a friend is like that of a limb; time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss cannot be repaired” – Robert Southey
- “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal” – Unknown
- “Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear” – Unknown
- “Only a moment you stayed, but what an imprint your footprints have left in our hearts” – Dorothy Ferguson
- “A friend who dies, it’s something of you who dies” – Gustave Flaubert
- “Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five” – Benjamin Franklin
Inspirational Death Quotes
Even after a friend or loved one has passed away we can find ways to stay positive and be inspired by the life they lead. Use these inspirational death quotes to focus on the good times and remembering that life goes on.
- “We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will” – Chuck Palahniuk
- “It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time” – Samuel Johnson
- “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 something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace” – Nelson Mandela
- “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose” – Steve Jobs
- “The truth I have been seeking – this truth is Death. Yet Death is also a seeker. Forever seeking me. So – we have met at last. And I am prepared. I am at peace” – Bruce Lee
- “To die will be an awfully big adventure” – J.M. Barrie
- “I discovered to my joy, that it is life, not death, that has no limits” – Gabriel García Márquez
- “Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us; our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life” – Albert Einstein
- “I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life” – Corazon Aquino
- “Death never takes a wise man by surprise; he is always ready to go” – Jean de la Fontaine
- “Dying is a troublesome business: there is pain to be suffered, and it wrings one’s heart; but death is a splendid thing – a warfare accomplished, a beginning all over again, a triumph. You can always see that in their faces” – George Bernard Shaw
- “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
- “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind” – C.S. Lewis
- “Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace” – Oscar Wilde
Life and Death Sayings and Quotes
Life and death go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. These quotes and sayings look at the relationship between both and the impact they have on another.
- “How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?” – Carson McCullers
- “Life is for the living. Death is for the dead. Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid” – Langston Hughes
- “The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” – Edgar Allan Poe
- “There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. The dark background which death supplies brings out the tender colours of life in all their purity” – George Santayana
- “Let life be beautiful like summer flowers and death like autumn leaves” – Rabindranath Tagore
- “Birth and death are the most singular events we experience – and the contemplation of death, as of birth, should be a thing of beauty, not ignobility” – Jacob K. Javits
- “Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives” – Andrew Sachs
- “Because life is fragile and death inevitable, we must make the most of each day” – Thomas S. Monson
- “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another” – Ernest Hemingway
- “Live how we can, yet die we must” – William Shakespeare
- “If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die” – Stephen King
Comforting Death Quotes
In the period of grieving after losing someone close to you being able to find some comfort can be a real help. Hopefully these quotes and sayings will aid in the recovery and contribute to the feeling of not being so alone.
- “When someone we love dies, we get so busy mourning what died that we ignore what didn’t” – Ram Dass
- “A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist” – Stewart Alsop
- “The connections we make in the course of a life – maybe that’s what heaven is” – Fred Rogers
- “All that live must die, passing through nature to eternity” – William Shakespeare
- “Unable are the Loved to die, for love is immortality..” – Emily Dickinson
- “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure” – J.K. Rowling
- “The harder the pain, the longer the path to recovery, the better the opportunity to learn” – Maxime Lagacé
- “There is love in holding and there is love in letting go” – Elizabeth Berg
- “Happiness can exist only in acceptance” – George Orwell
- “Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names” – Unknown
- “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come” – Rabindranath Tagore
Deep Quotes about Death
Death has often been the focus of profound and wise thinkers. Many philosophers and authors have written about dying and mused on what it means to us. These deep quotes about death look at dying in a more philosophical and thoughtful way.
- “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
- “By becoming deeply aware of our mortality, we intensify our experience of every aspect of life” – Robert Greene
- “Every man dies – not every man really lives” – William Ross Wallace
- “Death is a great revealer of what is in a man, and in its solemn shadow appear the naked lineaments of the soul” – E.H. Chapin
- “Death, in itself, is nothing; but we fear, to be we know not what, we know not where” – John Dryden
- “Death aims only once, but never misses” – Edward Counsel
- “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” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
- “Loss and possession, death and life are one. There falls no shadow where there shines no sun” – Hilaire Belloc
- “The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity” – Seneca
- “Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven” – Tryon Edwards
- “Death does not concern us because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist” – Epicurus
Funny Quotes about Death
To some death can be a source of humour, and laughing at something a way to deal with the grief. These funny quotes about death may be able to give you a laugh at the
- “Death is just nature’s way of telling you to slow down” – Dick Sharples
- “It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens” – Woody Allen
- “They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad that I’m going to miss mine by just a few days” – Garrison Keillor
- “When you’ve told someone that you’ve left them a legacy the only decent thing to do is to die at once” – Samuel Butler
- “When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did – in his sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car” – Unknown
- “At my age I do what Mark Twain did. I get my daily paper, look at the obituaries page and if I’m not there I carry on as usual” – Patrick Moore
- “Death is nature’s way of saying, ‘Your table is ready'” – Robin Williams
- “I am ready to meet my maker, but whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter” – Winston Churchill
- “Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then the worms eat you. Be grateful it happens in that order” – David Gerrold
Unique Quotes about Death
These are some quotes about death that are less well known. Still said by famous people but that don’t have quite the same recognition as many of the other quotes listed here.
- “Death is the dropping of the flower that the fruit may swell.” – Henry Ward Beecher
- “Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release, the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure, and the comforter of him whom time cannot console.” – Charles Caleb Colton
- “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousins
- “To fear death is nothing other than to think oneself wise when one is not; for it is to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not even turn out to be the greatest blessing for a human being.” – Socrates
- “Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.” – Haruki Murakami
- “Death is the sound of distant thunder at a picnic.” – W. H. Auden
- “Death is the last chapter in time, but the first chapter in eternity.” – Unknown
- Death is not a period, but a comma in the story of life.” – Unknown
How Quotes About Death Can Help
Either dealing with losing someone from your life or facing your own death can be incredibly difficult. In those times we often look for comfort or understanding in different places.
If you are grieving the passing of someone then you might find comfort in the quotes of others. Alternatively you can share comforting words about death with a friend or loved one who is grieving and they can take something from them, as well as feeling supported by you thinking of them.
When I lost my husband reading about other people who had gone through similar experiences helped. Words of wisdom and quotes from someone else who has experienced loss helped me to feel less alone and that there was a chance to come through it.
They also inspired some hope in me and that amongst the pain there is still beauty in the world. I wanted to honor the life of the people I had lost and stay strong for them. Inspiring words about death and life can give you resilience and hope when you need it most.
I also found myself reading the words of others and their views on death and reflecting. I thought about my attitude to death and how it made me feel. Those quotes ultimately played a part in leading me to accepting death had happened to someone I loved and then achieving some form of closure.
So although these quotes are just a few words they can evoke powerful emotions and provide real comfort.
If you are struggling to cope with the loss of someone these resources may help:
- The American Counselling Association guide on grief and loss has resources for both public and counsellors as well as information if you feel you may need counselling after losing someone.
- Pathways Centre for Grief has a huge list of grief and loss resources.
- The Art of Dying Well podcast tackles death head on and encourages us to talk about and grief to breakdown the fear and taboo around it.