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20 Grief Quotes To Give You Hope

By Caitlin Bray

20 Grief Quotes To Give You Hope

Grief can be absolutely devastating. Whether it happens suddenly or after a long illness, or whether it is a pet or a beloved family member, grief is a process. Getting through the phases of grieving can be hard and feel unending. 

While there isn’t anything that anyone can say that will make things better, we’ve compiled 20 quotes about grief that may be able to give you hope back. We also have some helpful tips about actions, like dropping by with food and support, that can help if words don’t seem like enough.

1. I Corinthians 13:7-8

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.”  

2. Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

"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."

3. Leo Tolstoy

“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.”

4. Helen Keller

“We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world--the company of those who have known suffering.”

5. Anne Frank

”I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that remains.”

6. Paulo Coelho

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

7. Hilary Stanton Zunin

”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.”

8. Megan Devine

”Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”

9. José N. Harris

”Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.”

10. Neil Gaiman

”You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell. You grieve. Then you continue with your life. And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live.”

11. Terri Irwin

”Grief is never something you get over. You don’t wake up one morning and say, ‘I’ve conquered that; now I’m moving on.’ It’s something that walks beside you every day. And if you can learn how to manage it and honour the person that you miss, you can take something that is incredibly sad and have some form of positivity.”

12. Louise Hay and David Kessler

”Loss can remind us that life itself is a gift.”

13. Nathalie Himmelrich

“Never compare your grief. You – and only you walk your path.”

14. Winnie the Pooh

“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.”

15. Rumi

“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.”

16. Anne Lamott

“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.”

17. Dean Koontz, Odd Hours

“Grief can destroy you --or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. 

But when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see that it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. 

It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”

18. Ranata Suzuki

Your memory feels like home to me. So whenever my mind wanders, it always finds its way back to you.”

19. Helen Keller

”What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”

20. Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

“It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on, coughing and searching, and finding.” 

What Can I Say To Someone Going Through The Grieving Process?

While the above quotes can be incredibly comforting to someone going through the grieving process, many people wonder exactly what they can say to someone who is grieving. Words don’t seem like enough, in the face of overwhelming grief, but these can help you open up a dialogue and show your support.

  • “I’m here for you.”
  • “I have no words.”
  • “It’s ok to feel this way.”
  • “How you feel is normal.”
  • “I’ll drop by with food this week.”
  • “Let me know what you need.”

Any of the above quotes are helpful because they are open-ended, non-judgemental, and remind people in a non-confrontational way that you are there for them. For some people, grief may also trigger their anxiety, so do what you can to be helpful. When it doubt, just sit in silence with them and let them talk or not talk as they see fit.

What Can I Do For Someone Who Is Grieving?

If words aren’t your thing, there are other things that you can physically do for someone who is grieving to help them get through it.

When words aren’t enough, turn to ways that you can help. 

Ask What They Need: 

First, and most importantly, ask. Always ask. Don’t assume that you know what you can do to help them, because you’re relying only on your own experience. They may have totally different ideas about what is helpful and what they need. 

If they don’t have any ideas or don’t feel up to talking about it, there are a few things that are commonly seen as incredibly helpful while also being non-invasive as they are sorting out their feelings. 


Feeding themselves often goes by the wayside during the grieving process, whether that means stress eating or skipping meals, so making a home cooked meal, having food delivered, or stopping by with groceries is often very appreciated. You can even make a gift basket with foods that you know they love, especially comfort and snack foods.

Help Out With Chores And Daily Tasks:

Chores are also another excellent way to help, if they are comfortable with it. Coming over to do the dishes, throw a load of laundry in, walk their pets, and just tidy up is more helpful than people let on. Often, they don’t want to be seen as being weak and asking for help. Offering to do things and then following through without judgement is the perfect way to show how much you care.

Show Your Support: 

Also, just being there is a great way to show your support. Sitting with them, holding their hand, or hugging them if they want, crying with them—all of those things don’t require words to show that you are available and accessible to help with whatever they need, even if that is just a shoulder to cry on.

Grief Is A Personal Process

Grief is its own creature. Everyone processes loss differently, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. If someone you love is grieving, read through the above quotes and see if any of them seem appropriate to share. Stop by with food or a gift basket, listen to them when they talk, and just be there for them. They’ll appreciate it more than they are ever able to say.