• grief quotes

Coping with grief is one of the most difficult and painful things that many of us will ever have to do. Unfortunately though, death is an unavoidable part of life and that means all of us will likely have to go through this difficult process at some point.

What’s important to remember is that grief is completely naturally and healthy. You have every right to mourn your loved one and to spend time honouring them. At the same time though, it’s just as important that you don’t spend too long in this process and that you are eventually able to move past the grief to a point where you can remember your loved one fondly and with a smile. Most likely, it’s what they would have wanted.

Offering some comfort, is the fact that mourning really is such a normal part of life and something that all of us will go through. Countless people have mourned before us and many have had wise things to say on the matter. Read on and we’ll look at some of the best quotes about mourning that may just offer a little comfort or insight during such a difficult time.

“Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone. Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone. Silence the pianos and with muffled drum, bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead. Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead. Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves. Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves” – W.H. Auden

This poem can perfectly sum up how it feels at first when we lose someone. We feel as though the entire world should stop – as though the very traffic should come to a standstill. It’s very hard to find ourselves so devastated and grief stricken when the world carries on around us normal. The final paragraph about the stars not being wanted is particularly poignant and powerful.

“The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with – nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they can add up to the story of a life.” – Rob Sheffield

Something a little more hopeful. From the book Love is a Mix Tape, author Rob Sheffield discusses the power that music has to make us remember and to make us feel. Perhaps there is a song or a CD that you used to enjoy with your loved one. Put it on and it’s a great way to lose yourself in some happy memories.

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

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This is how grief can feel sometimes and it can make it incredibly difficult for us to open ourselves up again after losing someone. However, if you value the time and the relationship you had with the deceased, then hopefully you will feel that knowing them was worth the grief. This is why it’s so important not to shut others out.

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.” – Henri Nouwen

When you are grieving, many of your friends will not know how to react. And sometimes you will feel as though you don’t want to be around anyone at all. The most valuable friend at this time is the friend who is willing to just be with you, to sit quietly and not even to offer words of comfort. This is the friend who knows that nothing can really be a comfort at this time – but that doesn’t mean you don’t need someone there.

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” – Thomas Campbell

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When we lose a loved one it can be incredibly painful thinking that the world has been robbed of them and that we won’t get to see them again. But we should be grateful for the time that we did get to spend with them and we should endeavour to keep them alive in our hearts and in our minds.

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Havelock Ellis

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It is no good to spend our entire time in grieving and not to move on or live again. At the same time though, we shouldn’t ever forget or ‘let go’ of our loved ones. There is an art to moving on to a place where we carry the ones we loved with us, while simultaneously not letting that memory prevent us from living in the now.

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” – J.M. Barrie

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A particularly beautiful and poetic expression of the previous sentiment. As long as you hold someone in your memory, you can revisit them and spend time with them whenever you need to.

“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

Those who have known grief will know this experience well. You can indeed remain strangely stoic at some of the most difficult times – but the things that ‘set you off’ come from the strangest sources. Often it’s that act of kindness that gives you ‘permission’ to stop burdening the weight that can bring you to tears.

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life's search for love and wisdom.”

Those friends who know how to be at our side when we’re at our lowest? Those are the ones who have lost people themselves. Grief is painful but it teaches us to empathise with others and to love more strongly.